Sealants on Primary Teeth: New research from the Journal of the American Dental Association
Here at Central Park West Pediatric Dentistry, we often recommend placing sealants on primary molars, especially for children who are at higher risk of developing cavities due to deep grooves on their teeth. Sealants form a protective barrier that fills in the pits and fissures on the surface of teeth, shielding them from the sticky foods and bacteria that cause cavities. While many people are familiar with sealing permanent molars, some may be unsure about the benefits of sealing baby teeth.
Excitingly, a new article from the August 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association entitled “Sealed primary molars are less likely to develop caries” provides even more support for the placement of sealants on baby teeth. Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital compared sealed primary teeth to unsealed primary teeth and found that over 3 years, for children with sealed teeth, the odds of developing cavities were 0.055 times less than for children with unsealed teeth. In other words, the odds of developing cavities were 18 times greater for children without sealants on their baby teeth!
Primary molars erupt in the first years of life and remain until most children are 10-12 years old. Healthy baby teeth are not only important for eating, speaking, and overall wellbeing, but for guiding permanent teeth into their correct positions. Sealants are a cost-effective way to prevent cavities and the need for dental treatment, while also promoting the development of a healthy smile.
Placing sealants is a painless and quick procedure that can be completed on the same day as your child’s dental exam and cleaning. We use glass ionomer sealants that help strengthen teeth, are easy to place, and are plastic free. If you think your child could benefits from sealants, please give us a call or ask at your next visit. Check out the original article at: https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(19)30291-0/fulltext
Source: Hong, M., Vuong, C., Herzog, K., Ng, M. W., & Sulyanto, R. (2019). Sealed primary molars are less likely to develop caries. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 150(8), 641-648.