If your child is elementary school aged, you may have heard your dentist mention the option of dental sealants. But what are sealants exactly and how will they help your child’s teeth as they grow? Our pediatric dental experts from Children’s Dental Center lay out the facts for us to help explain what sealants are and why they may be important for your child’s dental health!
What are Dental Sealants?
While brushing and flossing are essential to prevent cavities, it is not always possible to clean every small part of your child’s mouth. When it comes to children’s teeth, it can be hard to reach the back their mouth. Sealants can protect your children’s teeth from bacteria, and pieces of food. These sealants keep teeth from decaying. You can rest easy knowing that sealants come from non-toxic resins. Your Fishers pediatric dentist paints the sealants onto the surface of the tooth. Then, it’s cured using a UV light or with gentle chemicals. Many sealants are even made with fluoride to further strengthen children’s teeth. They can remain in place for up to 10 years.
How Can Sealants Help My Child?
Dental sealants can be of great benefit to protecting children’s teeth. Research has found that 4 out of 5 cavities in children happen on the biting surfaces of molars. This is where we apply most of the sealants. A sealant can protect these teeth and keep your children from getting cavities in these areas where they are more likely to occur. Molars are particularly susceptible to cavities as they have deep grooves.
Many dentists recommend applying sealants to 6 year and 12 year molars as they come in. The sealants protect the molars from cavities and decay. It will keep your child from unnecessary discomfort and an extra trip to the dentist. Sealants help by filling in the molar and allow your child’s brushing and flossing to be more effective. The CDC found that children without sealants are three times more likely to have cavities.
How are Sealants Applied?
The experienced pediatric dentists and dental assistants at Children’s Dental Center are happy to apply sealants. First, they will look at your children’s teeth and check for decay, fractures, and chips. Upon confirmation that the tooth is healthy, the sealant can be applied. The chosen teeth are then cleaned and the chemical is applied to the teeth, slightly roughening the surface. The rough texture is small and does not change the tooth’s appearance. This roughness allows the sealant to stay in place. Then, the tooth is dried and the pediatric dentist or assistant paints on the sealant. This material is clear and easy to remove if a tooth needs repairing. Dr. Edwards has years of experience applying these sealants and can also apply more resin if needed.
Sealants can last for up to ten years and have no side effects other than allergies. Your pediatric dentist will be able to tell you if your child’s teeth are ready for sealants and provide you with more insight if you have other questions!
For more information or to schedule your next visit, visit Children’s Dental Center on Facebook or online!