February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, brought to you by the ADA. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. The American Dental Association’s theme for the program this year is “Sealants Make Sense.”
About The American Dental Association (ADA)
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.
Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Dental Sealants 101
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew. Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide. Tooth decay now affects more than one-fourth of American children aged 2-5, according to the CDC. The number jumps for older children. Half of children between the ages of 12 and 15 have at least one cavity.
Luckily, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.
In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”
Do you have any concerns about dental sealants? Come in for a visit and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!