Dental sealants have been part of standard dentistry for kids for nearly half a century. Yet the procedure does not have the highest adoption rate. According to Healthline, only 43% of children between the ages of six and 11 have received a dental sealant treatment. Experts suspect that this low number may simply be the result of a lack of awareness; after all, dental sealant is one of the safest and most effective pediatric dental services available. Consider the following factors if your child has not yet been administered this treatment.
The main goal of dentistry for kids is simple: avoid cavities. With most children, this is no easy task. They eat tons of sweets which can cause the rapid buildup of plaque, resulting in tooth decay. Often, the habit of brushing their teeth twice-daily has not yet been fully ingrained — if they are not frequently reminded and monitored, children will likely skip sessions. Furthermore, it takes a while for kids to learn how to floss properly.
Measures such as dental sealants help combat this less-than-stellar oral hygiene. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that these sealants are among the most effective preventative care methods. Reports by the CDC indicate that for the first two years after they are applied, dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities. This rate remains at 50% for as long as four years after the initial application.
Dental sealants are quick and simple to apply, with each tooth needing no more than a few minutes to be sealed. According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants can be made of four different material types. These include composite resins, polyacid-modified resins, glass ionomers, and resin-modified glass ionomers. These sealants are all applied in essentially the same manner — the tooth is made more easily bindable with an acid wash, the liquid sealant is applied, and the sealant is solidified with a chemical or light activator. Once the sealant is in place, no steps for care are necessary, and they typically need not be reapplied for several years. Ask your pediatric dentist about dental sealants at your next visit!