Why Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?

Nothing is more important to you than your child’s health and well-being, including the health of their teeth. Yet over 42% of children ages 2-11 get cavities in their baby teeth, and nearly a quarter of children those ages get cavities in their permanent teeth.  

At the private practice of Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, in Butte, Montana, we provide the best in pediatric dentistry to help keep your child’s teeth and gums in the pink of health. One of the most effective ways to protect your child’s teeth is with dental sealants.     

We pride ourselves on our patient-centered approach. Dr. Wilcox understands you may have questions about why your child may need dental sealants, so we put together this informative guide with everything you need to know about dental sealants. 

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are very thin coatings of plastic Dr. Wilcox applies to fill in the difficult-to-clean nooks, grooves, and crannies in your child’s back molars. Sealants help prevent tooth decay and the formation of dental caries. 

Why does my child need dental sealants?

Early childhood caries (ECC) affect millions of children, making it the most common chronic pediatric disease in America. Caries, or cavities, can cause many issues for children, including a negative impact on their sleep, ability to eat, sleep quality, play, and overall quality of life. 

Once a child has one cavity, the risk of developing additional, new cavities in both baby and permanent teeth increases. When not treated promptly, ECC can cause permanent damage to your child’s oral health. It can be extremely expensive to fix the damage. 

Nine out of 10 cavities appear in the back molars, where deep grooves and lack of room make the teeth challenging to clean thoroughly — especially for young children. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits can help, but cavities can erupt in these difficult-to-reach locations regardless. 

The good news is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sealants stop the formation of 80% of cavities for two years and offer continued protection against 50% or more of ECC for up to four years after the initial application.

This preventive treatment only takes minutes to apply and doesn’t cause your child any pain or discomfort. We can apply sealants early, typically ages 4-10 when the back molars erupt. 

And once your child’s adult molars emerge, Dr. Wilcox can apply dental sealants to help combat the formation of cavities on their permanent teeth.

Give your child the gift of healthy teeth

Dr. Wilcox can apply sealants as part of your child’s regular dental cleaning and exam. The earlier your child receives excellent oral care, the healthier their gums and teeth remain for life. 

Preventive pediatric dental treatments like dental sealants work to stop tooth decay before it begins, helping your child stay confident about their smile as they learn to laugh, speak, smile, and eat. 

Contact us at our Butte, Montana, office today to make an appointment.

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