Brushing and flossing are meant to prevent cavities and keep teeth healthy. However, not every little ridge or dip in your teeth are easily accessible with just a toothbrush and floss. Molars can be especially difficult to keep clean since they are a bit more rough and uneven causing them to be a common spot for leftover food and bacteria to build up.
Luckily, dental sealants are readily available for children whose parents wish for their children to get them. Dental sealants are thin protective barriers (made from a plastic or other dental materials) that cover the chewing surface (where deep ridges are prominent) on your back teeth. They help by covering the areas where food and bacteria gather the most in hopes to prevent cavities from forming.
Who is a candidate for sealants?
In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.” With this being said, children can positively benefit from sealants. In fact, the earlier sealants can be applied, the better. At the age of six, the first molars erupt in the mouth and at the age of 12, the second molars erupt, sealing both sets of molars as soon as they come through would be optimal in order to be cavity-free from the start. If you are unsure if your child should seal all molars it is recommended that you consult with a pediatric dentist.
If you are a parent with further questions or concerns about dental sealants for your children, it is recommended that you call Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry at 703-348-2813 at your earliest convenience for an initial consultation. Our highly skilled pediatric dentist, Dr. Konz, is capable of answering any questions you may have during your initial visit. We are located in Ashburn, Virginia for your convenience.