Molar teeth contain pits and crevices that are difficult to clean even with careful brushing and flossing. Food, plaque and bacteria can build up in the crevices and cause tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children receive sealants on permanent molars as soon as they erupt, which is usually between six and twelve years of age. Sealants are a hard plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars that create a barrier to protect them from acid and plaque, reducing the risk of cavities.
Although sealants don’t require major changes in diet, certain foods should be avoided. Foods that are hard, sticky or chewy can be damaging. Biting on hard foods like ice, jaw breakers and other hard candies, can cause the sealants to break. Chewy and sticky foods like fruit snacks, gummy candy, caramel and toffee can stick to the sealant and pull them off. Avoiding these foods will ensure your child’s sealants last and provide the best possible protection to their teeth.
In addition to avoiding these foods, maintaining a healthy diet, limiting sugary foods and scheduling regular dental checkups are the best things you can do to ensure your child has beautiful and healthy smile.