Even with modern dental services, tooth decay affects just over 70 percent of American children under the age of 19.
In addition to being unsightly and potentially painful, untreated tooth decay can result in a number of serious oral health problems that could plague a child for years.
Studies continue to show that dental sealants are one of the most effective ways to preserve a child’s oral health and prevent tooth decay from developing.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Many parents fail to schedule regular dental appointments for their child simply because they know that baby teeth are going to fall out at some point. While it is true that their baby teeth will eventually fall out, developing multiple cavities at a young age can lead to a lifetime of oral health problems.
Younger children with unhealthy baby teeth will have a higher risk of developing issues such as malocclusion (an improper positioning of adult teeth).
When to Start Scheduling Appointments
Parents can begin scheduling dental appointments for their child as soon as they feel comfortable with it. Most specialists suggest that children have their first appointment by the time they reach one year of age or when their first teeth begin to erupt.
In those first few years, the dentist will be able to keep an eye on your child’s oral health and suggest preventative treatments as they are needed. Most children require dental sealants around the time they turn the age of six or when their first set of molars come in.
A Look at Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are not only easy to place on a child’s teeth, but when they are combined with great oral hygiene habits and regular trips to the dentist, they have a success rate of nearly 100 percent.
These sealants are nothing more than thin plastic strips that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surface of one’s teeth. It is important to apply sealants to the chewing surface because they will keep food debris and bacteria out of the hard-to-reach areas of the teeth.
The entire process can often be carried out in as little as an hour and it requires no drilling or scraping of the teeth.
The dentist will begin by cleaning the teeth thoroughly before applying a special gel to the chewing surface of each tooth.
After the gel is dry, the teeth are cleaned once again and the sealant is “painted” on the teeth. For most children, each tooth can be sealed in less than a minute.
Does My Child Need Sealants?
The only way to know for sure if your child is a good candidate for sealants is to schedule an appointment with Blue Turtle Dental today.