Sealants Critical to Children’s Oral Health
Sealants are plastic coatings that protect those difﬁcult to reach pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth from the bacteria that cause tooth decay. A quick and painless procedure done in your dentist’s ofﬁce, sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars as soon as possible after they fully erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of six to eight for ﬁrst molars and 10 to 12 for second molars. While sealants are not necessary for all children, they are particularly beneﬁcial to children who are at higher risk for tooth decay. But, how do you know if your child is at higher risk?Although overall oral health risk is a combination of genetics, personal habits and diet, history of decay is a good predictor for future risk of decay. Your child is considered to be at higher risk if he or she has had a cavity ﬁlled in the past three years. The good news is you may be able to help prevent future cavities by making sure your child receives preventive care, including having sealants applied to ﬁrst and second molars.
Although approximately 60 to 70 percent of cavities can be prevented by placing
sealants on children’s teeth, a recent study by Delta Dental shows that 60 percent of
children age 6 to 9 who are at higher risk of tooth decay did not receive sealants on
their ﬁrst molars, and 80 percent of children age 11 to 15 did not receive sealants on
their second molars.1
These ﬁgures are particularly striking when you realize that many dental plans cover preventive care, like sealants, at as much at 100 percent of the cost. As a parent, you want your child to be as healthy as possible, and that includes protecting their teeth.
Posted on September 02, 2015 @ 04:16pm