February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s the perfect time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your child’s teeth. That includes getting their teeth protected with dental sealants.
Teeth sealants are an effective and low-cost treatment to protect your child’s teeth from developing decay in the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Research shows that school-age children without sealants have almost 3 times more cavities than children with sealants!READ MORE: Sutter Health Short On Vaccines As Blue Shield Takes Over Distribution
Below, we’ll go over the benefits of placing sealants on your child’s teeth, and how preventive dental care can help keep their teeth healthy and cavity-free.
The Importance of Preventative Dental Care
Kid’s cavities are more common than you might think.
Did you know that about 1 out of every 5 kids aged 5 to 11 years old have at least one untreated cavity?
When your child first gets a cavity, they usually don’t hurt. But untreated cavities can lead to pain and infections, or more serious issues affecting their eating, speaking, playing, learning, and social development. In California, each year, over 874,000 days of school are missed by children suffering from dental issues.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know how bad your kid’s dental problem is until it’s too late. This is why getting your children’s teeth checked early and often can help prevent major dental issues, and save you money in the long run.
Besides regular brushing and flossing, getting sealants for your child’s teeth is an essential first line of defense against cavities.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin shields that applied to stick to the crevices on the surfaces of your child’s molars or chewing teeth. Sealants help to keep their teeth clean by filling in those difficult-to-brush deep spaces where food and bacteria can get trapped.
When bacteria in your mouth meet food particles, over time tooth decay or cavities or caries begin to form.
A sealant is like a raincoat that helps protect your teeth from developing cavities.
Getting sealants don’t replace the power of brushing and flossing! But it can create another line of defense to keep cavities from forming.
They can help stop the early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity, which will save you money on the cost of multiple fillings.
The Benefits of Getting Sealants for Your ChildREAD MORE: CBS13 Investigates Problems With 'My Turn' Vaccine Sign-Up Tool
The process for applying sealants to your kid’s teeth is quick and painless. Some types of sealants can even be applied on top of current cavities to prevent further decay damage. Plus, they can last for up to several years.
Because dental sealants are non-invasive, children as young as 6 years old can get them as soon as their molars start to form. Sealants in young children are pretty common, with 43% of children ages 6-11 having received sealants.
Dental sealants can save you money down the line, as the average cost of getting cavities filled can add up over time.
Helping children develop choice habits to achieve great dental health is essential as they grow and develop. Untreated tooth decay can result in fillings, root canals, and other major treatments, which can be very expensive.
How Early Is Too Early?
While baby teeth are temporary, your child is developing dental habits now that they’ll carry with them into the future which will affect their permanent teeth.
Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s still important to care for them as if they are permanent.
It’s never too early for your child to adopt healthy oral care habits! Getting sealants for your child is just a start.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your kid’s teeth stay healthy.
Babies and Children Younger Than 2
- Wipe your baby’s gums twice a day with a soft clean cloth in the morning after the first feeding and right before bed. This helps to wipe away bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
- Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, start brushing them twice a day with a soft small bristled toothbrush and regular water.
- Visit the dentist on your baby’s first birthday to catch any early problems.
- Talk to your dentist or doctor about placing fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears.
- Talk to your dentist first about the use of fluoride toothpaste.
Children Ages 2-6 and Older
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Drink tap water that contains fluoride if possible.
- Ask your child’s dentist to apply dental sealants when appropriate.
- Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow.
- Help your child brush until they have good brushing skills.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
Making sure your children’s teeth stay healthy can be overwhelming. Children’s Choice is always here to help. Don’t wait to schedule your next routine dental exam.MORE NEWS: West Sacramento Mom Puts Up 'This Neighborhood Is Full Of Karens' Sign After Neighbors Complain About Noise
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Make an appointment today and get $5 off sealants in February!