Sealants: Preventative Protection
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are difficult if not impossible for the child to clean of all bacteria and food. Acids form in this debris that break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Studies show that 88 percent of cavities in school children begin this way.
The American Dental Association recognizes the role sealants can play as a preventative of tooth decay, by forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures. When properly applied and maintained, they can protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. Since the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still important in preventing decay in areas not sealed.
A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting sugary treats. If these measures are followed, along with sealants on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or even eliminated!
Care of Sealants
Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended to ensure sealants remain in place.