Did you know that dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for over two years in the back teeth, where 9 in 10 cavities develop? This thin, plastic coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to act as a barrier against acids and plaque. Applying sealants is a fast, easy, and painless way to prevent cavities, and is also less expensive than fillings. So, will dental sealants benefit your child? The answer is yes!
What are Dental Sealants?
Regular tooth brushing and flossing are important, but dental sealants are one of the best ways to prevent cavities in children. Sealants start as a liquid and are painted onto the teeth, usually the premolars and molars. The liquid quickly penetrates the grooves of the teeth and is cured (hardened) using intense light. Once hardened, the sealant creates a resilient covering over the enamel.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Children and teenagers are excellent candidates for dental sealants due to the likelihood of developing decay in the grooves and depressions of the molars and premolars.
Your Melbourne, FL dentist may recommend having your child get sealants on their permanent teeth as soon as they come in. However, the most important age to have sealants is the cavity-prone years between 6 and 14.
Dental sealants are occasionally appropriate for baby teeth if the child has deep grooves and depressions. Baby teeth play a critical role in holding the proper spacing for permanent teeth and must be kept healthy.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
According to the CDC, dental sealants have been known to last upwards of nine years after placement. There is a chance that your child’s sealants could fall out prematurely, especially if your child eats a lot of sticky foods that could potentially dislodge the sealant from the tooth. Your Melbourne, FL dentist will inspect your child’s fillings regularly and replace them if needed.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
Dental sealant application is a fast and painless procedure that just takes a few moments to complete. The teeth that are to be sealed are first thoroughly cleaned to prevent trapping food and bacteria between the tooth and sealant. Your dentist may apply your child’s sealants after a dental teeth cleaning.
Next, the teeth are dried and an absorbent material like cotton is put around each tooth to keep it dry. To help the sealant better bond to the tooth, an acid solution is applied to the chewing surface to help roughen it up.
The teeth are then rinsed and dried, followed by the painting of the sealant material. The sealant bonds directly to the tooth surface and is cured with an intense white light that hardens the sealant material.
What are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are highly effective at keeping children’s teeth healthy. Here are some of the top benefits of sealants:
- Sealants protect teeth against food and plaque buildup. Sealants work around the clock to protect the enamel from food and plaque that accumulate in the pits and fissures of the teeth.
- The application is fast and pain-free. Your child will feel no pain or discomfort during the application of sealants. The procedure takes just a few minutes from start to finish.
- Sealants support a healthy oral care routine. Even with proper brushing and flossing, teeth can still fall victim to decay. Sealants help seal the small cracks and crevices in the teeth to keep out harmful bacteria.
- Sealants are easy to repair and maintain and require no special care at home. If the sealants chip or dislodge, your dentist can repair or replace them as needed.
- Sealants are covered by most insurances. Dental sealants are generally considered a preventative treatment and are therefore covered by most health insurance policies. Even without insurance, sealants are very affordable.
Book an Appointment for Dental Teeth Sealants
Protecting a child’s teeth from damage is a major priority for many parents. Dental sealants appear natural and are highly effective at protecting the enamel from substances known to destroy teeth. To learn more about sealants or to book an appointment, contact the friendly team of dental professionals at Artistic Touch Dentistry.