What would you guess is one of the most common chronic diseases among children? Would you say asthma? Hay fever?
The correct answer is dental caries (cavities), which is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Studies conclude that 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth.
Dental Sealants to the Rescue!
You can do a lot to help minimize the risk of decay in your child including proper oral hygiene and routine visits to the dentist. But it can be difficult to keep certain teeth as clean as they should be, such as molars and premolars with deep grooves.
In this case, dental sealants are an excellent way to protect your child’s teeth. A sealant is a thin coating of plastic that is applied to the surface of teeth to “seal out” cavity-producing bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control report that sealants protect kids from about 80 percent of cavities for two years. Over the next four years, sealants prevent about 50 percent of cavities. Kids between the ages of 6 and 11 who don’t have sealants are three times more likely to get cavities than kids who do.
How Dental Sealants are Applied
First, the surface of the teeth is thoroughly cleaned and dried. An etching acid is applied to roughen up the surface so the sealant adheres to the tooth. The teeth are cleansed again, and the sealant is applied directly to the chewing surface where it bonds to the teeth and hardens.
Sealants can be used on primary teeth, but they can also be applied to healthy, cavity-free permanent teeth.
Call Us to Get Started
We offer sealants at our Glenmont, NY office, so please call us to arrange an appointment with Dr. Henry Huang. He will examine your child’s teeth and determine if sealants are appropriate for your child.