February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). All month long, dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators will come together to promote the benefits of good oral health. This year’s theme is “Sealants Make Sense”!
When your child is somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12, their dentist may suggest a dental sealant to the back teeth. “Is this necessary?” you may ask. There are many reasons to give sealants a giant seal of approval. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Dr. MyLinh Ngo explains.
“Research has shown an 80% reduction in cavities through sealant placement,” Dr. Ngo says. “Sealants act as a physical barrier that blocks plaque from accumulating in hard-to-clean grooves and pits of molar teeth.”
Sealants take just a few minutes to apply, and the process is completely painless. “This procedure is one of the simplest methods to prevent cavities,” Dr. Ngo says. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry takes extra steps in placing the best sealants possible, using the isolite system (a gadget that combines suction, light, and retraction for the patient) and a monitoring system to track the sealants that have already been placed in their patients.
A properly placed sealant will last several years and protect kids during the most critical years, when they’re still gaining manual dexterity and mastering their oral hygiene. While sealants effectively provide protection from dental decay, this does not minimize the importance of brushing and flossing. The sealant isn’t applied in the backs and sides of teeth, and regular maintenance at home is still critical.
On the home front, sealants help make brushing molars more effortless. “The fact that they are smooth makes it much easier to clean these teeth and prevents acid from burrowing into the deep, hard-to-reach crevices,” says Dr. Ngo.
Tooth Fairy Island
This may be a special, devoted month to children’s dental health, but at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, we promote children’s oral health all year long. Our educational outreach program, Tooth Fairy Island, is just one way we help kids learn how to take good care of their teeth and gums.
Our Tooth Fairy Island visits (now virtual!) consist of customized presentations at local schools, with fun hands-on exercises and activities to engage and excite kids about brushing their teeth, flossing, and going to the dentist.
Give us a call today at 510-521-5437 to schedule a Tooth Fairy Island visit for your school!