As your family dentist in SW Portland, our team at Beadnell Family Dentistry strives to help protect the oral health of patients of all ages. For younger patients, dental sealants make an excellent choice for parents looking to provide additional protection to their kids against the impact tooth decay can have on their long-term oral health.
A thin resin coating, dental sealants help protect a child’s oral health by literally “sealing” away vulnerable parts of their teeth to the oral bacteria that contributes to decay and cavities. In most cases sealants are applied to a patient’s back molars, an area of the mouth many kids fail to properly clean while brushing. By preventing harmful oral bacteria from touching these teeth where cavities are most common, parents can help ensure their children enjoy quality oral health now and into the future.
Recent research has actually shown that school-sponsored dental sealant programs effectively protect the permanent teeth of kids who are at risk of decay. In these types programs, dental care providers apply sealants to the teeth of kids for free at school during the day. These types of programs are most commonly implemented in lower income communities where kids have less access to dental care.
A collaborative research project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kennesaw State University found that the costs saved from preventing future cavities and the loss of productivity caused by parents having to leave work to take their kids to the dentist far outweighed what little cost these types of programs had.
In the study, researchers noted that the cost to fill a cavity was several times more expensive than the cost of dental sealants. This creates a situation where preventative sealant programs could provide a great way for communities to not only save money, but for kids to avoid the pain and inconvenience of tooth decay as well, reported researchers.
After performing an exhaustive review and taking into consideration the various forms these types of programs can take, researchers concluded that dental sealants make an excellent investment for public funds and recommended a wide spread adoption of sealant programs in communities everywhere.
Protecting Your Child’s Oral Health
If dental sealants make sound financial sense for public programming, then they certainly make a lot of sense of parents who can afford to pay for the treatment out of pocket.
For many younger children, the requirements of daily brushing and flossing fail to take on enough importance. Kids get distracted, especially before bedtime and after meals. Trying to ensure a child brushes and flosses well enough to prevent the onset for tooth decay is a difficult challenge for most parents.
Many younger kids even lack the manual dexterity required to properly brush until later in life. This can result in the development of cavities that require far more expensive procedures to correct.
Parents should consider the not only the health of their child’s teeth and gums, but also the financial benefits dental sealants can offer when deciding if the treatment is right for their family.
Dr. Beadnell can apply dental sealants to a child’s teeth in just one appointment. The procedure is quick and entirely effective. Sealants are made from a thin but incredibly durable material that can last for several years before a reapplication is required.
If you’re considering dental sealants for your child, talk with any member of our staff Beadnell Family dentistry during your next visit. Your family dentist in SW Portland will be happy to explain the difference sealants can make to the health of any child’s smile.