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Dental Sealants for Decay Prevention in Children

September 3, 2015

Maybe you know Dr. Kendrick as your own trusted dentist in Midway City — but did you know he’s an expert in little smiles, too? That’s right. Dr. Kendrick knows how crucial good dental care is for Oklahomans of all ages, and that’s why he begins seeing little patients at the age of two or three, once all of their primary teeth have erupted. That may seem a little young for a trip to the dentist, but tooth decay can begin with your child’s very first tooth.

As your children get a little older, their mouths are exposed to a host of bacteria — and if they’re not brushing and flossing perfectly, that means it’s much easier for cavities to develop. The back molars, which are full of little nooks and crannies excellent for hiding bacteria, are especially vulnerable to cavities. There is a good prevention solution, however, in dental sealants. You’ve probably heard a little bit about them, but you may not realize how effective they are in fighting cavities in young children. Read on to learn more about how dental sealants can protect your child’s precious teeth.

All About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a highly effective tool that your child’s dentist uses to protect children’s back molars from developing cavities. A sealant is a thin, tooth-colored resin that’s painted on your child’s teeth quickly and painlessly, then dried with a special UV light. Once the sealants have dried, they provide a buffer between your child’s teeth and harmful, cavity-causing bacteria, “sealing” the back teeth from harm.

Your child’s teeth are most vulnerable to cavities from age 6 to 14. For that reason, sealants are usually applied as soon as the permanent back molars appear, though sometimes they are used on baby teeth to prevent very early tooth decay.

Once a sealant is applied, it can last for up to ten years. It’s a good idea for your dentist to continue to check on the sealant to monitor for wear or cracks — if signs of damage do appear, the sealant can be quickly and easily repaired.

Sealants and Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Combining dental sealants with good oral hygiene habits is a powerful combination to ensure your child’s teeth aren’t vulnerable to decay. Good oral health in children is crucial — early tooth loss and decay can cause an array of problems during childhood and even later in life. For optimal dental health, make sure your child is brushing thoroughly twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist every six months.

If it’s been awhile since your child’s last dental checkup, don’t wait to request your appointment today. Dr. Kendrick will make sure your child’s smile is healthy and strong now, and for years to come.

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