Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities. The most common place sealants are applied is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where it can be harder for children to properly brush. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. children ages 6 to 12 currently have have sealants on their teeth.
Even for people who pay close attention to their dental hygiene, it’s next to impossible to properly clean out all the grooves and pits of the teeth. And for children who may not always take the time they need while brushing, this can be especially true. Food and bacteria can then build up, leading to decay and cavities.
The treatment is affordable, and because of the layer of protection it can offer, many insurance companies will cover sealants in your care plan. Be sure to check with your insurance, as some have age and specific tooth requirements.
Sealants can last as long as 5 to 10 years in pediatric dental patients? Depending on a child’s oral development and risk factors for tooth decay, sealants may be applied to the teeth as young as age 6. It is at this time that the first molars typically appear. Additional molars erupt at approximately age 12. If sealants can last as long as 5 to 10 years in pediatric dental patients? Depending on a child’s oral development and risk factors for tooth decay, sealants may be applied to the teeth as young as age 6. It is at this time that the first molars possible, sealants should be applied to a child’s teeth immediately after any molar has appeared to reduce the risk of early decay.
Q:WILL SEALANTS PREVENT ALL CAVITIES?
A:While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush and floss each day using a fluoridated toothpaste. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet low in sugar are also essential for good long term oral health.
Q:WILL DENTAL SEALANTS AFFECT THE FEEL / APPEARANCE OF MY CHILD’S TEETH?
A:Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a clear or tooth-colored coat. This makes them virtually undetectable to others. Though it is normal to feel new sealants with the tongue, most children quickly adapt to their presence.
Q:WHAT WILL MY CHILD EXPERIENCE WHEN GETTING SEALANTS?
A:The process of getting sealants is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned before the Dr. Donald paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last several years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the Children's Dentistry of Longwood will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.