Tooth decay affects more than one quarter of children ages 2 to 5, half of those ages 12 to 15 and countless adults in the United States. In fact, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. While daily brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, there are other things you can do to further prevent tooth decay from occurring. The good news is tooth decay is preventable.
The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) wants to educate the public about the benefit of dental sealants as a cost-effective, preventive measure to combating tooth decay. Though sealants are most effective in reducing the number of cavities in children whose primary teeth have recently erupted, they also can be beneficial to adults. According to the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health, sealants have been shown to reduce tooth decay by more than 70 percent.