What is Children’s Dental Health Month?
The American Dental Association designates every February to Children’s Dental Health Month. This month helps to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, caregivers, teachers and many others.
This year’s theme is “Sealants Make Sense.” Sealants are an effective way to help prevent caries — the decay and crumbling of a tooth. As it progresses, this decay can develop into a cavity. A report by The American Academy of Pediatrics found that dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood, with 59% of 12 to 19-year-olds having at least one documented cavity. Cleaning every space in your mouth can be hard, especially the back molars that are susceptible to leftover food. Sealants can add a layer of protection from this buildup.
What is a sealant?
A sealant, according to MouthHealthy.org, is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. While these aren’t a substitute for brushing and flossing, they can keep cavities from forming and can even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.
Promoting Good Oral Health in Children
Sealants are an effective part of children’s dental health because they help to prevent cavities, but there are many other ways to promote oral health in children as well. Brushing teeth twice a day with a pea-sized drop of toothpaste, flossing once a day, drinking fluoridated water and cutting back on sugary drinks can all help keep your child’s teeth healthy. And, as always, don’t forget to schedule regular dental checkups! Contact us today to make an appointment.