Think for just a moment about how difficult it is to brush your child’s teeth. Kids, and especially young children, don’t have a lot of patience at the best of times, and this can make it hard to complete even simple, relatively quick tasks like brushing and flossing.
Do you really want to see if your child can sit through the process of getting a filling? Dental professionals do all they can to keep children happy and comfortable, but most kids just don’t want to sit still for very long.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, it’s natural to question whether or not you really need to get your child’s molars sealed. If it helps to avoid the formation of cavities and the need for more intensive treatments like fillings, the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s what you should know about sealing out cavities rather than filling them.
Sealing is Recommended
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), all children should get sealants on their molars as a way to prevent tooth decay. This thin coating, when painted on the chewing surface of molars and allowed to harden, can protect teeth and prevent the formation of cavities.
Sealing is recommended when kids get their first set of permanent molars (around 5-7 years old), and again when they get their 12-year molars (at about age 11-14). Sealing is even recommended for some baby teeth if deep grooves or pitting are present.
Back Teeth are Hard to Brush
Why is sealing necessary? Kids aren’t always the best when it comes to brushing their teeth, and in some cases, it’s not entirely their fault. Back teeth can be difficult to reach and maneuver around, especially for younger kids that are still developing their find motor skills.
In addition, however, molars have grooves on the chewing surface that food and bacteria get stuck in, and this can be even more difficult for kids to brush away. Rinsing with mouthwash can help, but sealing can last for up to 10 years, giving kids a better chance to avoid cavities.
Good Oral Health is Always a Good Idea
As a parent, you want the best for your kids, and preventive measures like sealing teeth can help children to maintain the good oral health, preserving their teeth at any age.