42% OF CHILDREN will have at least one cavity by age eleven. The main reasons are too many sugary snacks and drinks and poor oral hygiene. It might not seem like a priority to protect baby teeth from cavities if they’re just going to be replaced by adult teeth, but childhood is a crucial time to develop and stick to good oral health habits. It may be more important but not exactly simple to do. Even the best of us can struggle to brush and floss our teeth and avoid sweets - let alone our kids. However, there’s something that can help protect our kids’ teeth from cavities even if they sneak snacks while you're not looking, and that’s dental sealants. At South San Francisco Dental Care, we provide dental sealants as part of our comprehensive dental services.
What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?
The chewing surfaces of molars have a lot of little hiding places where bacteria can grow and cause cavities. Sealants were first used in the ‘60s and have stuck around this long because they work. They get their name from the fact that they seal off the crevices in molars, reducing the risk of decay by as much as 80%. Kids without sealants are nearly three times more likely to get cavities. Even if they’re good at brushing their teeth twice a day, they may not have the dexterity to do a thorough enough job on the chewing surfaces of their molars. With sealants, those parts of the teeth are protected.
How We Apply Sealants
Adding this protective layer to a child’s teeth is quick and easy. We can do it within minutes in a regular visit. First, we give the surfaces of your child’s teeth a nice polish and clean away any food debris, plaque, or tartar that may be there. Then, we isolate and dry each tooth to prepare for the sealant. Next comes the bonding agent that will hold the sealant in place. We rinse that off and dry the tooth again, and all that’s left is to paint the sealant material on! With the special curing light we use, it will harden quickly. After we give everything one final check, we’ll declare it safe to chew on!
Who Can Get Sealants?
We recommend that children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars start appearing. The first set of molars usually erupt around age 6 or 7. The earlier they get sealants, the better off those teeth will be, because food and bacteria will never get the chance to settle into the crevices. But sealants aren’t only for kids! Adults can also benefit from this simple treatment that can save money, time and teeth. If you’d like to learn more, just ask.
Are Sealants Covered by Insurance?
Even if you don't have dental insurance, dental sealants are an affordable way to prevent cavities. Compared to getting a filling or crown, sealants can save you money, time and a visit to the dental office. Dental sealants are a preventive treatment to stop cavities from forming, much like a dental cleaning. Since this treatment is preventive, they are often covered for little to no cost under your dental coverage plan. Give us a call today to find out how much your out-of-pocket expenses are. We're happy to help.
With less than a month to go until the end of the year, don't forget to use your insurance benefits before they expire. Plus, most insurances cover up to two dental exams and cleanings every year, so it's been more than 6 months since your last check-up, schedule today! These are benefits you've already paid for. Scheduling your next visit is easy. You can schedule online or call or text us at (650) 871-1400.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.