How to Protect Your Child’s Smile Using Dental Sealants

How to Protect Your Child’s Smile Using Dental Sealants

Jun 01, 2020

The best ways to keep cavities and tooth decay at bay are to ensure that you and your loved ones practice brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily. This is usually much easier said than done, especially with our children.

As a parent, you must have experienced days when your little one just does not feel like brushing their pearly whites, or nights that they are just too tired to see it through.

And even though you do supervise and run a strict oral health regimen for your child, keeping cavities away from the hard to access back molars and premolars can prove to be quite a challenge.

This is why more parents in Conway, SC, are opting to use dental sealants as a way of protecting their children’s molars and premolars from tooth decay and cavities, which may result in future dental issues or complications.

What Is a Sealant?

This is a thin, plastic-like coating, which is applied on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of your child’s permanent molars and premolars to safeguard them against cavities and tooth decay.

The tooth sealant adheres to the teeth’s crevices and grooves, creating a protective coat over the teeth’s outer surface.

Teeth sealants act by sealing off the tooth from plaque, bacteria, and food particles, which accumulate within the hard to reach crevices resulting in tooth decay.

Why Are Sealants Necessary?

Our molars and premolars have grooves and crevices on their occlusal or chewing surfaces that make an ideal spot for the accumulation of food particles and plaque.

These areas are hard to clean and access during regular brushing with your child. The food particles left behind attract bacteria that form plaque and release acid that leads to tooth corrosion and, consequently, cavities.

A sealant covers the teeth’s grooves, providing a protective, smooth coating that is not favorable for the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, thus preventing tooth decay.

When Should Your Child Get a Sealant?

Your child should get a dental sealant immediately their first permanent back tooth emerges. This is usually around the age of six because this is when your child’s first molar erupts.

The second wave of molars will break out between 11to 12 years of age. Ideally, children should get sealants during this window because they are more prone to cavities between the ages of 6 to14.

However, it is essential to note that your child can get a sealant applied earlier than this on their baby teeth, especially if your child has baby teeth that have grooves or fissures that make them susceptible to tooth decay.

Many people do not think that it is necessary to put sealants on milk teeth because they eventually fall off to make room for your child’s permanent teeth.

However, this is not true; it is vital to protect your child’s baby teeth from falling off prematurely since baby teeth are crucial in determining the proper spacing for the permanent teeth coming in.

Sealants also help to remedy tooth sensitivity. Therefore, if your child suffers from this, our dentist can help eradicate this by applying a sealant for sensitive teeth.

How Is a Sealant Applied?

It is an entirely painless and swift procedure and is carried out as follows:

  • Our dentist will begin by thoroughly cleaning the teeth that are going to be sealed.
  • The selected teeth are dried, and an absorbent material such as cotton is placed around the teeth to ensure they stay dry throughout the procedure.
  • An acidic solution is then applied onto the tooth surface and is allowed to sit there for a few seconds before it is rinsed off. This acidic solution creates a rough surface on the enamel that will allow the sealant to set in properly.
  • The selected teeth are then rinsed and dried off again.
  • The sealant is finally applied onto the teeth, and a curing light is used to help it harden instantly onto the tooth’s surface.

After application, sealants can last for up to about ten years, meaning that your child’s teeth will be protected from the harrowing effects of dental cavities and decay for a decade.

You should keep your regular dental appointments with our pediatric dentist to ensure that any chips or wears within the sealant are addressed and resolved promptly.

At Kids First Dental, we are focused on ensuring that your child’s teeth and smile will last them their entire lifetime.

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