By Erica Laceria on Jan 2, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
Do you want to protect your child's teeth from cavities and tooth decay? Then you should consider dental sealants. Kids have a tendency of eating teeth-harming foods, such as candies and chocolate. Because they may not appropriately dedicate time to brushing and flossing, they have a higher chance of getting cavities. If you’ve never heard of teeth sealants, we’d like to educate you! Below we’ve outlined exactly what they are and how they could help your child:
What is a Dental Sealant?
It's a thin, plastic coating that a dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This coat helps prevent cavities and other forms of tooth decay.
How Do Sealants Work?
No matter how well your child brushes and flosses, it's difficult to properly clean the small grooves and pits on certain teeth. This means food and bacteria build up in the crevices increasing the risk of tooth decay. Dental sealants prevent food and plaque from getting into the crevices, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
What Color are Dental Sealants?
Depending on the sealant used, the color will be clear, white, or slightly tinted. Most often, your dentist will try to match the color of the sealant as close to the color of your child’s teeth so that it appears virtually invisible.
When Should Children Get Their Teeth Sealed?
Usually, children get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they are all in. This way, their teeth are protected during the cavity prone years of ages six to fourteen.
How are the Sealants Placed?
Applying sealant is relatively quick and painless. The dentist will perform the following:
- Clean the teeth and dry them
- Place an acid solution on the chewing surfaces for a few seconds to help the sealant bond to the teeth, then rinse and dry the teeth
- Paint the sealant onto the tooth enamel where it works its way into the pits and grooves before bonding and hardening
- At times use a special curling light to help the sealant harden
How Long Do Sealants Last?
They can last up to ten years, and be reapplied if necessary. Maintaining good oral hygiene plays a key role in determining the lifespan of sealants.
Are Dental Sealants Expensive?
It's an affordable treatment and many dental insurance companies cover the cost. Check with your benefits provider to see if your plan covers sealants.
Are Brushing and Flossing Still Important?
Yes! Children still need to brush and floss to maintain good oral health along with eating a well-balanced diet and regular dental visits.
Oral health for kids will always be very important. The earlier they learn how to properly brush and floss, the better their oral and general health will be. Sealants serve as an additional tool that could save money and pain down the road, should your child need molar replacements due to tooth decay. Make sure you take advantage now to prevent long term issues!