Most children start life with healthy, sound teeth. Yet all too often, they suffer from cavities before they reach adulthood. In fact, the CDC says tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and teens aged 6 to 19. It’s four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17.
The CDC suggests sealants as a way to prevent childhood cavities, in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene. This non-invasive process literally seals off the tooth. It protects from bacteria and acids that destroy tooth enamel and result in tooth decay.
We recommend sealants for the back teeth, specifically the molars and premolars, which are prone to childhood cavities. Children usually get their first molars around age 6, followed by the second molars around age 12.
Molars are especially vulnerable because food particles enter the tiny grooves in the teeth. These particles are extremely small and difficult to remove, especially for young brushers. Despite their small size, tiny food particles can wreak major damage to the molars.
Sealants protect for five to ten years before reapplication is needed. They are a safe, painless and cost-effective way to shield against tooth damage that can be costly and time-consuming to treat later. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”