In the fight against cavities, sugar has quite a competitive edge. But many families are turning to dental sealants to protect teeth throughout our most cavity and sugar-prone years and beyond.
Dental sealants are simply thin, plastic coatings applied to the surface of the portion of a tooth that is used for chewing. Only the teeth at the back of your mouth need dental sealants. As this fact sheet provided by Colgate explains, “The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — ‘fissures’ — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop.”
How Are Dental Sealants Beneficial to Children?
Children are especially susceptible to cavities for a number of reasons, but it’s no secret that sugar is more present than ever in their diets, while healthy oral care habits are often still being formed. Dental sealants present the opportunity to ward off cavities in permanent teeth easily and effectively. The experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain: “School-age children (ages 6-11) without sealants have almost 3 times more 1st molar cavities than those with sealants…Sealants are a quick, easy, and painless way to prevent most of the cavities children get in the permanent back teeth, where 9 in 10 cavities occur. Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.” With this endorsement, you can rest assured that sealants are a safe option to support your child’s healthy smile for years to come.
How Are Dental Sealants Beneficial to Adults?
Many adults struggle with frequent cavities due to an abundance of grooves, or fissures, and pits in their back teeth. It is all but impossible to clean every last one of these grooves effectively, so cavities are, for many, simply an eventuality. For this reason, dental sealants are just as beneficial for adults as they are for children. Many of the adult clients at our family dentist practice in Flemington, NJ have benefitted from the protection dental sealants provide. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about dental sealants and how they can help you guard against cavities.