Dental Sealants—The Molars’ Superhero
Hearing your child has a cavity is a very common occurrence. Sure, you might try to get your little one to brush and floss as they should, but those cavities sometimes sneak through the cracks. Literally.
But did you know that there is a preventative measure out there to help prevent sneaky bacteria from piling up? Your child’s dentist has a few tricks up their sleeve! Dental sealants are the superhero your child needs to make their daily dental routine all the more effective. They’re a quick and completely painless shield that can drastically decrease the chances of cavities!
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin coating made out of either medical-grade resin or glass ionomers that are painted on the surface of the tooth. This is typically done on the permanent molars, as they are where the majority of cavities form. This coating creates a little shield to protect the teeth from any harmful bacteria that might try to take up residence in those grooves.
Nearly half of children between the ages of 12 and 19 have dental sealants here in the US! Applying them is completely painless, and it can be done in one visit. So why not do all you can to protect their natural teeth?
How is this treatment applied?
When we say that dental sealants are easy to get, we mean it! They can even be done during one of your child’s typical dental visits!
First, your child’s dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth, just as they would for a typical dental cleaning. Doing this ensures that no bacteria has a chance to hide underneath the tooth’s new shield. Once the teeth are clean, it’s time to apply the dental sealants!
The next step is to put some cotton in the mouth to keep the area dry, then the dentist will paint a little etching solution on each tooth. This ensures the dental sealant will stay exactly where it is supposed to. There will be a quick rinse and another drying session, and then the actual dental sealant will be painted on. After it dries under a light, it’s all done! The entire process takes only a few minutes.
Why are dental sealants so important?
Dental sealants are typically applied to the back molars. This area of the mouth is notoriously hard to reach, and it creates the perfect place for bacteria to eat away at the natural tooth. Putting a shield in the way can make all the difference! In fact, having dental sealants decreases the chance of cavities in the treated teeth by up to 80%! This effectiveness can drastically decrease the chances of your child needing expensive interventions, such as crowns or fillings, in the future.
What are the benefits of sealants?
We all get one set of permanent teeth. Why not do what we can to prevent tooth decay? Dental sealants are a completely safe way to ward off potential cavities. They are simply painted on the tooth, and they dry within minutes! Fast, easy, and painless! They are incredibly effective, creating a barrier on the teeth so it is less likely that your child will miss any sneaky bacteria while brushing. With proper care, they can even last up to four years!
Who should get dental sealants?
Because dental sealants are used to protect your child’s permanent molars, they are typically applied when those molars officially come in. This can happen anywhere between the ages of six and 14. But dental sealants are not just for children! Adults with deep grooves are at a higher risk of tooth decay too. Because of this, their molars can greatly benefit from dental sealants as well.
How can my child maintain their sealants?
Keeping up with your child’s regular oral hygiene routine is one of the best ways to keep their teeth happy and healthy. Be sure they brush those teeth two times a day for two minutes each time, and sneak in a flossing session at least once per day! Also, remember to keep those dentist appointments every six months. The dentist can keep an eye out for anything that could become a problem and take care of it before the issue gets more serious. They will also check on the health of the dental sealants themselves, making sure they remain effective for as long as possible.
Make an appointment today!
Whether your child is in need of a regular dental cleaning or you want to set up an appointment specifically for dental sealants, don’t hesitate to give us a call! You can also request an appointment online. Remember, we are here for you and your family every step of the way!