Today I’d like to talk to you about the advantages of preventative dentistry. Many of the difficulties older generations experience with their teeth are ones that can now be avoided through a lifetime of routine preventative dental care.
This care begins with regular visits to the dentist from an early age. By the time a child is old enough to develop molars and cooperate with a dentist’s requests, he is old enough to receive a crucial preventative treatment: Sealants.
Sealants are just as they sound. They seal back molar teeth to keep out harmful bacteria and therefore prevent the formation of decay. I generally apply sealants to children’s molars as the molars come in, between the ages of 6 and 13. I carefully clean and dry the tooth and “paint” on a clear, plastic, protective coating. It’s a little bit like a clear coat of nail polish, but for a tooth. The sealant protects the tooth’s surface and crevices from harmful bacteria and decay and is shown to last for years, and in many cases, long into adulthood. Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and have been shown to reduce tooth decay tremendously. We’re talking about 90% to 100%! The best part is that for a fraction of the cost of a filling you can prevent yourself or a loved one from ever needing a filling, root canal or crown.
This not only adds up to a smart choice for the health of your child’s mouth, but also for your pocketbook as the costs of repairing decay can add up to a lot more than the costs of preventing it. Many insurance carriers offer coverage for sealants and many times they cover them 100%. The one downside is that they only cover them until your child reaches age 12 or 14. So it pays to have them done while they are young and prevent countless unnecessary dental procedures in the future.
Sealants do not take long to apply and never require the patient to be numbed. So it is one of the most pain free procedures we offer. We generally see children to apply sealants and they can go back to school to resume their day right after their appointment. They are even able to eat on them immediately following their application. Our office is central to the Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Johns Creek area school districts to make routine visits easy and convenient.
Once your family is in the habit of visiting the dentist on a regular basis, it waylays fears and procrastination and helps the whole brood maintain clean, healthy, and fresh smiles. Sealants are just another measure that will help ensure your children’s long-term dental health.
Do your children have dental sealants? Why or why not?