From getting candy at school as a special treat to after school snacks with friends to simply what they eat at home—there are lots of foods and drinks that can make plaque in your child’s teeth worse. Even with rigorous daily dental hygiene, it can be difficult to keep plaque at bay.
With dental sealants, you can ensure your child will be one step ahead of the game. With one simple application, their teeth will have an added level of protection from tooth decay and cavities.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants work just like their name implies. The sealant is made up of a thin polymer or plastic that is applied in liquid form to the teeth and allowed to harden. Once dry, the sealant serves as a barrier over the uneven exterior of the teeth’s chewing surfaces.
If properly cared for, dental sealants can stay in place for as long as a decade. And even as they may chip or wear over time, your dentist can easily apply a new layer when necessary.
How Do Sealants Work?
Dental sealants are a simple method of protecting your kids’ teeth from particulates and the tooth decay that results from them. When those food particles break down, they form acids that eat away at the enamel of teeth.
Sealants provide a physical barrier between those abrasives and your child’s teeth, allowing them to brush away food particles before they have a chance to do lasting harm.
Which Teeth Need Sealants?
Typically, dental sealants are placed on molars, which have more natural pits and grooves than other teeth. In order to get the most protection possible, dental sealants should be place on children’s teeth after their permanent teeth come in, which occurs in two waves.
The first permanent molars children get usually show up between the ages of 5 and 7, and are also known as “6 year molars.” The second wave, known as “12 year molars” will arrive somewhere between ages 11 and 14.
It’s best to have dental sealants placed immediately following your child’s new molars erupting, before any potentially harmful decay has the chance to set in.
Who Best Benefits from Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a good choice for nearly anyone, but they are particularly beneficial to children. According to the CDC, children of school-age who do not have sealants develop nearly three times as many cavities as kids who have had sealants applied to their teeth.
The application of dental sealants is an extremely simple and fast procedure. Sealants are typically applied in just one appointment, and no numbing agents are needed (In most instances, the application does not cause discomfort, which is always a plus with kids!). Here’s what to expect:
- Your hygienist will begin by thoroughly cleaning your teeth
- Once that is completed, the teeth receiving sealants will be etched with an acid solution to provide a good bonding surface, and the liquid sealant solution is brushed onto their grinding surfaces
- A special light is then shone onto the teeth to speed up the curing process
And just like that, the process is done! Your child’s teeth will be protected for years to come.
How Herrick Family Dental Can Help
At Herrick Family Dental, we are always excited to help you develop a preventative plan for dealing with future issues, and dental sealants are one of the best ways of stopping decay before it has a chance to start.
To learn more or to find out if your child is a good candidate for dental sealants, contact us at 614-891-0440 to schedule an appointment.« Back to blog