Having dental sealants placed on your child’s teeth will help prevent cavities in the most cavity-prone areas of the mouth. Dental sealants are non-surgical, are easy to apply, require no anesthesia, and are an inexpensive way to prevent expensive problems.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are created from a substance that is brushed onto the back teeth in your child’s mouth to prevent cavities. This substance is similar to white filling material, but is a little thinner so it can seep down into the crevices of the teeth. Dental sealants are brushed on, similar to painting fingernails, so there’s no pain involved. There’s no downtime or recovery associated with dental sealants, and your children can eat as soon as they leave the dentist’s office.
When Should Sealants be Applied?
Dental sealants are not typically applied to baby teeth or to the front teeth. They are most needed in the back molars where it’s harder to keep clean and where the teeth have deep grooves and crevices. While adults sometimes get dental sealants, they are more common in pediatric dentistry. This is because teeth are more prone to cavities during youth.
The first set of permanent molars come in around age 6 and should be sealed at this time. The second set of permanent molars come in around age 12 and will need to be sealed. Dental sealants last for around 5-7 years, preventing cavities and tooth decay throughout this time frame.
How Should I Care for My Child’s Sealants?
Dental sealants are made from tough material and add strength to the teeth. No special care is needed beyond your child’s daily tooth care routine. Chewing on ice can wear sealants down earlier, but they can be easily reapplied. Taking your child in for regular dental checkups will allow the dentist to check on the condition of the sealants, and monitor the health of the rest of their teeth as well.