It may be Dental Sealants Month at every Western Dental office, but sealants will help reduce cavities all year long.

If you’re a parent, you know that getting your child to brush after every meal can be a challenge. Even so, while brushing is key, it’s not always possible to reach every nook and cranny, especially back molars, where food particles and cavity-causing bacteria can hide. That’s why dental sealants, a clear, thin protective coating, can be a key treatment in reducing and preventing cavities.

In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health since, according to a report issued by the Center for Disease Control, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants." (October 2016)

Early intervention for children is key (although adults can benefit from sealants, too). First molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Applying sealants to new molars can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.

Applying sealants is an easy and painless process. Your dentist preps the surface of your tooth by applying a gel so that a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. Sealant is then applied onto the grooves of your tooth and hardened under a special blue light. Sealants dry to a clear, invisible coating. Your dentist will insure the sealants are effectively protecting your teeth each time you come in for your appointment.

Sealants will often last for several years. Your dentist can advise you if sealants are an option for you, and how often you might need to reapply them.

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