Today's post is authored by MedEq's Vice President, Raza Qadir.
The common underlying theme amongst the many initiatives of MedEq’s Oral Health Committee is prevention. A key aspect within the goals of this committee is that various chronic issues, such as tooth decay, are preventable through healthy daily habits and specific, effective treatments. While the importance of oral hygiene, and straying away from harmful habits, continues to be made abundantly clear, today we hone in on a specific preventative treatment in the form of dental sealants.
Dental sealants can serve as a valuable tool, specifically towards underprivileged populations where access and education towards a healthy mouth are highly limited. They are commonly applied towards the younger population to prevent further oral health concerns. It is applied to the teeth as a plastic coating, serving as a protective barrier. Small food particles and bacteria that are common culprits for tooth decay and cavities are then blocked out of vulnerable areas in the mouth (1). These sealants can last up to many years, and can be reapplied during checkups. For this reason, this service is many times utilized in mission trip settings and school based systems. Children and adults that struggle to keep their teeth clean, have a lack of access to dental supplies, and those that are forced to consume unhealthy foods due to poor economic status, can all immensely benefit through this route.