February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
For National Children’s Dental Health Month this February, the theme is “Sealants make sense”. This decades long dental practice complements children’s daily oral care and ultimately contributes to their better overall health. Curious why? Read on to learn more.
While brushing and flossing are the foundation of taking care of your teeth, they still can’t reach all the nooks and crannies in your mouth. For example, your molars, the back teeth you use to chew, are uneven and rough and can hide old food and bacteria. Enter sealants! Those leftover food particles in the mouth produce acids that create holes in teeth (cavities). Sealants help create a safety net around the teeth to keep them clean and protected from the damaging food particles.
What are sealants?
Tooth sealant is a thin, clear protective liquid coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of molars by your dentist or dental hygienist. The sealant flows into and fills the deep grooves in those back teeth to protect them from harmful acid attacks by blocking out bacteria and food particles.
Why do sealants matter?
The coating of sealant applied to teeth helps keep cavities from forming and can stop early stages of tooth decay. In fact, sealants can reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, stating that "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants." That’s a lot!
Are sealants safe?
Dental sealants were first introduced to the general population in the 1960s as a way to prevent initial cavities in young children and young adults. And while sealant contains a small amount of plastic, the American Dental Association (ADA) reports there is no evidence that exposure to BPA in a dental sealant has any adverse health effects.
Make your appointment today!
Sealants are quick, easy, and painless when applied and can last a decade or more. They are especially helpful in keeping children’s teeth healthy as they grow and learn proper brushing techniques and eating habits.
Print out these fun activity sheets for your kids! Find more activity sheets at www.ada.org.
Sources: American Dental Association, Mouthhealthy.org, Todays RDH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)