HOW TO SEAL OUT CAVITIES
Kids are kids, so despite trying their best, they may need a little help or reminder with certain tasks you ask of them. If you tell a young child to clean their room, some dirty socks in the corner may remain. Tell them to bring that forgotten jacket home from school, and there’s likely a 50/50 chance the jacket will make it home. Likewise, when young kids brush their teeth, they probably are missing a few areas.
Substandard brushing habits are one reason cavities are so prevalent among children. In fact, dental caries, which is the bacterial infection that causes cavities, is the number one disease among children age 6 – 11 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
And cavities are a problem. Cavities can damage teeth and cause lifelong dental issues. After all, even though primary teeth will eventually fall out to make way for adult teeth, these teeth serve important developmental functions. Beyond helping children eat and learn to talk properly, they are placeholders. When a tooth is lost early because of dental problems, the surrounding teeth can move into the vacated space which can result in crooked teeth that are even harder to clean.
Sealants, which are basically a thin, clear barrier painted onto teeth, are an effective way to prevent cavities. Sealants are most frequently used on the back teeth where the ridges and depressions can catch food particles and these areas on the back teeth can also be difficult to brush well. A layer of sealant can smooth out those ridges to make brushing more consistent and even.
Sealants aren’t a substitute for brushing; however, the American Dental Association has found that with regular brushing habits they reduce the risk of cavities in molars by up to 80%. Sealants can give your kids that extra little help that they need in their oral care.
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