Why Does Your Child Need Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a coating used to protect your child’s teeth. It is constructed from a plastic material that coats the surface of your child’s teeth and is normally used on molars in the rear of the mouth, since it’s often difficult to thoroughly brush the rear molars.

Sealants don’t alleviate the need to brush and floss, however, they can stop the formation of cavities and they can even stop a full cavity from forming when tooth decay is in an early stage.

Why Put A Sealant On Your Child’s Molars?

Thoroughly brushing and then flossing is the first line of defense in cavity prevention. However, it isn’t always simple to thoroughly brush every portion of a child’s teeth, particularly rear molars.

Rear molars are uneven, rough and a place where food particles can collect and cavity causing bacteria can hide.

Are Sealants Effective?

It has been demonstrated that dental sealants decrease the risk of cavities in a child’s molars by about 80%. Just last year, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report emphasizing the benefits of dental sealants for children who are school aged. The CDC says children in this group that don’t have sealants are three times more likely to have cavities than kids that have the sealants.

How Does A Sealant Work?

Dental sealants smooth out and fill in the fissures and grooves in teeth that harbor food particles and bacteria that cause cavities.Dental sealants do their job by keep plaque and food from directly contacting the surface of teeth. This is necessary because the bristles of a toothbrush don’t always reach the grooves and depressions on molars.

Who Should Get Sealants?

Both adults and children can obtain benefits from dental sealants, however, the sooner they are applied, the better. The first molars will normally appear at six years of age, and the second set of molars usually come in when a child is about twelve years old. When these teeth are sealed as soon as they come in, they can be kept free of cavities from the start. This will safeguard a child’s teeth and result in long-term savings since costly cavities will be unlikely. Ask one of our dentists if dental sealants would be a good option for your child.

Why Don’t All Kids Have Dental Sealants?

The ADA recommends that children get dental sealants immediately after their first adult teeth come in.Nevertheless, fewer than forty percent of dentists actually apply sealants at this time. The CDC has compiled statistics that indicate that just 20% of low income children and 40% of children from more affluent families have dental sealants.

The American Dental Association has stated that not sealing children’s teeth is a little publicized, but extremely significant, dental care issue in regards to children’s dental health. Parents should be requesting dental sealants from dentists to ensure that their child’s teeth are safeguarded.

How Do We Apply Sealants?

The application of dental sealants is a fast and painless procedure. Our dentist will clean your child’s tooth and then dry it prior to putting an acidic gel on it.The gel makes the surface of the tooth rough so that the sealant will adhere to the tooth better.After a number of seconds our dentist will rinse the tooth which will remove the gel.The tooth will be dried, and then the sealant will be applied. A blue light will then be used to make the sealant hard.

Can A Sealant Be Used Over A Cavity?

Sealants are sometimes used when decay is in an early stage to stop further damage to a tooth from occurring. Since many sealants are transparent, our dentist can monitor the tooth to ensure the sealant is working properly.

Do Sealants Have Any Side Effects?

The only side effect that could exist is if your child has an allergy to the sealant, which occurs rarely. Studies have uncovered no other side effects from sealants.

How Long Will Your Child’s Sealants Last?

Frequently sealants will last for a number of years, which could be as long as ten years. However, they may need to be reapplied after several years.The dental sealants will be monitored regularly during your child’s normal dental visits. Our dentist will check their condition and apply the sealant again if necessary.

Will Insurance Pay For Dental Sealants?

Some insurance plans will pay for sealants, since sealants usually reduce the long-term cost of dental care. Contact your dental insurance provider to find out if sealants are covered under your plan.

Check out this video on dental sealants for children to learn more: