Let’s seal the deal… dental sealants, that is!
Parents often ask our advice about what can be done to protect their children’s teeth, a topic very much worth considering as our kid’s dental health has an impact on the general health and well-being of the child. A study in North Carolina revealed that children with poor oral health were 3 times more likely to miss school due to dental pain and that kids reporting dental pain were 4 times more likely to have a lower grade point average than their peers without dental pain.
Keeping our youngster’s teeth health requires a multi-focal strategy, starting with twice daily brushing for at least two minutes, fluoride oral hygiene products, a diet that is low in sugar (especially any sweetened beverage, including fruit juices) and having dental sealants placed on all permanent molars.
Several studies have produced strong evidence that pit and fissure sealants are effective in preventing dental decay in children. Sealing the pits and fissures of newly erupted permanent molars in kids with plastic resin acts as a cost-effective barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Due to the deep grooves found in permanent molars, toothbrush bristles are not effective in adequately removing debris from deep depressions. Dental sealants protect vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. Dental sealants do not require anesthesia or any cutting of tooth structure and are relatively easy to apply by dental hygienists in a clinical setting.
In short, prevention pays off. The average cost of applying a dental sealant to a child’s permanent teeth is roughly one-third the cost of filling a cavity. So seal the deal!