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Little Teeth Truths: Should children get dental sealants to protect baby teeth from cavities?

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Question: Should children get dental sealants to protect baby teeth from cavities?

Answer: The best way to prevent cavities is to brush each morning and night and floss daily, but sometimes little teeth need a little extra help from dental sealants. Sealants are thin plastic coatings that prevent food and bacteria from getting stuck in the grooves of back teeth, helping to avoid cavities. Many parents might think sealants are only for big teeth, but baby teeth can benefit from sealants, too! Cavities can be common in little teeth, with six out of ten children experiencing a cavity by age five. In fact, untreated cavities in baby teeth can spread and cause decay in other teeth – including permanent teeth. Of course, remember that dental sealants are most effective with regular brushing, flossing, visits to the dentist and a proper diet. Be sure to talk with your pediatric dentist about the best approach for your child’s dental health.

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Mira Albert, D.D.S. M.S., AAPD National Spokesperson. Dr. Albert obtained a BA in psychology and earned her DDS from the University of Michigan. Dr. Albert then completed a two-year hospital residency in pediatric dentistry before earning her master’s degree in Oral Sciences from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a Board Certified pediatric dentist and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She served as a consultant to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 2015. Dr. Albert founded Brush Pediatric Dentistry in Hinsdale, IL in 2011 and is on staff and maintains privileges in the Department of Surgery Division of Dentistry of the Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Albert treats very young children, those with special needs, and kids with complex dental issues both in the office and in the operating room of Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago.