Brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and limiting sweets are all important steps in protecting your child’s oral health. However, there are other things that parents can do to prevent tooth decay and other dental issues. Sealants act as a line of defense between your child’s teeth and the things that come in contact with them. This preventive measure is recommended to children as young as five years old and can last upwards of 10 years or more.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a plastic tooth coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth, usually the molars and premolars which are mostly used for chewing. The sealant material quickly bonds into the grooves and depressions in the teeth to create a protective barrier over the enamel. Once applied, dental sealants help block food and germs from sticking to the teeth. They also protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and 50 percent of cavities for up to four years.
What Is the Application Process?
Applying sealants is a fast, painless and simple process that takes just a few minutes from start to finish. The steps include the following:
- The teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Many dentists choose to apply sealants at the end of a routine dental cleaning.
- Each tooth is dried. Cotton or another absorbent material may be placed around the teeth to keep them dry.
- An acid solution is applied. This acid solution is used to help roughen up the teeth to allow for a better bond.
- The teeth are rinsed. This helps remove any excess acid solution. The teeth are then dried.
- Sealant is painted onto the chewing surfaces. The sealant material then bonds and hardens to the tooth surface. A curing light may be used to help the sealant harden.
How Do They Assist Teeth?
Dental sealants are an affordable way for parents to help protect their children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants can help your child in several ways, including:
1. Shield Against Plaque and Food
The biggest benefit of sealants is protection. The thin, plastic coating creates a barrier between tooth enamel and things that come into contact with the teeth, such as food, drinks, and plaque. By sealing the tiny fissures and pits in the teeth, parents are less likely to encounter oral health issues like cavities, root canals, and the need for dental crowns.
2. Support a Healthy Dental Routine
It can be tough to get your kids to brush and floss regularly. Dental sealants make it easier to keep your child’s teeth healthy by preventing food and bacteria from getting into the cracks and crevices of their back teeth. Sealants are an important component of maintaining good oral health in children.
3. Fast and Pain-Free Application
Another major benefit of dental sealants is they can be applied quickly and pain-free. Children are often scared of going to the dentist which can make it difficult to perform procedures. Due to the speed and simplicity of sealant applications, most kids can get through treatment without a problem.
4. Sealants are Long-Lasting
Parents don’t want to have to continue to bring their children back for sealants every few months. The great thing about modern dental sealants is that they last a long time, an average of five to 10 years. During routine checkups, your dentist will check the condition of your child’s teeth. If the sealants become worn or chipped, they can be easily repaired.
5. Sealants are Usually Covered by Insurance
Dental sealants are considered a type of preventive dental procedure, meaning they are covered by most insurances. If you are not sure if your child’s insurance company covers dental sealants, contact the insurance company or review your coverage documents.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Melbourne Florida Dentist
Your child needs his or her teeth for a lifetime. As a parent, there are things you can do to help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. Contact Artistic Touch Dentistry today to learn more about how sealants can help your child or schedule a dental teeth cleaning and sealant appointment.