Children’s dental health has become the main concern, due to the increase in caries prevalence amongst children. Pit and fissure sealant (PFS) and fluoride varnish (FV) are effective measures for preventing dental caries.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that protect the chewing surfaces of children’s back teeth from tooth decay. Many of us can remember meeting our sealant competency in dental hygiene school, but that may have been the last time we placed sealants. We probably did not realize when we were learning to place sealants that they are one of the most effective measures to help high-risk children battle dental decay. Sealants fill in the grooves and help keep debris and bacteria out of the occlusal surface and buccolingual pits.
Fluoride varnish is another preventive measure that is highly effective in the fight against childhood caries. Fluoride treatments have been used as prevention for a long time, and they are an extremely effective and economical measure to help the pediatric population.
Fluoride treatments have certainly evolved through the years. I am certain that many of us remember the four-minute fluoride treatments that were the standard many years ago. There have been gels, foams, and now the mostly commonly used is fluoride varnish.
We can see what an asset dental sealants and fluoride varnish are in the battle against childhood caries. Of course, many factors must be considered when it comes to helping the pediatric population combat decay. Some of those factors are ones that we cannot control. We can’t force children or parents to make the right food and drink choices or to brush and floss at home. But applying fluoride varnish and placing sealants are things we can do, and both of these preventive measures are excellent weapons against childhood caries.