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All about Dental Sealants for your Children

Most parents would agree that they worry about the state of their children’s teeth. We were all young once and we remember how much we liked to eat sweets and other foods that weren’t all that beneficial. We also remember how often we avoided brushing and flossing our teeth – much to the consternation of our own parents. For some of us, we made it through childhood without too many problems with our teeth. For others, there were a few cavities from time to time. This, of course, should come as no surprise. When food debris – especially sticky sugars – is left on the surfaces of the teeth, it becomes a prime environment for the growth of bacteria and plaque. This, in turn, can eat away at the surfaces of the teeth and result in decay.

Did you know? Almost 75% of all dental decay begins in the deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of the molars.

The role of the Overland Park family dentist is to not only help fix those teeth that have been negatively impacted by decay, but to also help prevent these problems before they have a chance to settle in and cause trouble. As dentists, we’re only armed with so many tools in the effort to create and promote good oral health. Fortunately, times are always changing and many of the technologies that dentists routinely employ are growing by leaps and bounds. Dental sealants are one of those technologies, and they offer a great preventive service to parents of children and teenagers alike.

Most parents have probably heard about dental sealants, but some may not know that dental sealants are one of the most useful preventive measures against tooth decay in children. Dental sealants are often recommended for children because sealants are particularly good for sealing and protecting the grooves in the chewing surfaces of the teeth that are sometimes difficult to get clean with a toothbrush. As mentioned earlier, these grooves are where most decay problems begin.

Dental sealants are thin “plastic” coatings that can be painted on to the surfaces of the teeth in a very quick and painless procedure. After the sealant material hardens, it creates a durable protective layer over the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth that is highly resistant to the acids and bacteria that cause decay. Dental sealants are incredibly durable and should last for several years before a reapplication is necessary.

Dental sealants are recommended for children and teenagers whose permanent back teeth (also known as their six-year molars) have grown in because these are the ages when they are most prone to tooth decay and cavities. Typically, this is for children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old. However, dental sealants are sometimes recommended for younger children if they have baby teeth that feature deep grooves. In the regular dental cleanings that follow, sealants will be checked for signs of wear or chipping.

If your child is prone to cavities, you may want to ask Dr. Watts about how dental sealants may be of benefit.

Because we’re committed to healthy smiles for the whole family, our patients come to us from Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, and Olathe, Kansas. If you would like to make an appointment at Watts Family Dental for a dental cleaning or to discuss dental sealants for your children, please call (913) 338-3384 or visit our Overland Park, KS office. You may also send an e-mail direct to at any time.

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