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Dental sealants create a protective barrier on the tooth surfaces that are most susceptible to decay. These surfaces include the biting surface of the molars, which have many small grooves where bacteria can accumulate and cause destruction. Sealants are excellent for providing additional protection to children’s teeth until they can master daily oral hygiene habits.
These seven benefits of dental sealants for kids will give you a basic understanding of sealants and how they help to protect your child’s teeth.
They Protect Against Cavities
Dental sealants help to protect a child’s teeth from cavities by covering the top of the tooth with a “tooth-colored” plastic. This layer of protection makes it difficult for bacteria to remain on the surface of a tooth. Bacteria is unable to attack the protected enamel of a child’s tooth, making dental sealants a safe and effective way of protecting a child’s tooth.
Every Child Can Benefit
Regardless of how well your child participates in their oral hygiene care, they are not immune to tooth decay. The grooves in a tooth are the perfect environment for bacteria to linger and attack the tooth. The average toothbrush is unable to reach the deep grooves, leaving left-behind bacteria to cause cavities regardless of if a child brushes twice a day. Dental sealants are able to add an additional layer of protection to each tooth, promoting a healthy smile.
The Process Is Quick and Painless
The process of applying dental sealants is a simple one. The teeth are cleaned and prepared for the sealant material to be applied. Teeth are prepared by using a mild solution that is similar in strength to lemon juice or vinegar. This slightly roughens the surface of each tooth to help the sealant material bond properly to the tooth. Once the tooth has been prepared, the acrylic sealant is then applied to the tooth or teeth. The sealant material is able to flow into depressions or grooves on a tooth and fills them in. It is then allowed to harden for 1-2 minutes at which time the tooth will become sealed and protected from bacteria collecting in the pits and grooves.
They Are Long-Lasting
Applying sealants during childhood will protect the teeth throughout the most cavity-prone years because sealants can last for many years with proper care. Sealants will last longer if you maintain good oral hygiene and avoid biting hard objects. During routine dental visits, the dentist will check the sealants and may recommend re-application or repair when necessary.
Sealants Will Save You Money
In addition to being a fast and painless solution for protecting a child’s teeth, sealants are also much more cost effective than dental restorations. Most dental insurance companies include sealants in the list of treatments covered under most general policies. Preventing the need for expensive and painful cavities at a fraction of the cost makes dental sealants the preventative choice for children.
Sealants Can Be Applied Early
The number of teeth that should be sealed depends on your child’s incidence towards dental cavities. For maximum protection, dental sealants should be applied as soon as possible after a permanent tooth erupts. Children who are around six years of age will benefit most from sealants, just about the time their first permanent molars start to become visible.
Sealants Are Suitable For All Ages
Contrary to what many believe, sealants are not only useful in children. While it is true that children are the most common age demographic for the treatment, anyone can share the same benefits. Permanent teeth of older patients are also riddled with small grooves that need to be covered to protect the tooth from bacteria.
Are Your Kids Ready For Sealants?
While sealants can indeed do an exceptional job in protecting your teeth, getting sealants should not take the place of great oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and healthy eating habits. To learn more about preventing cavities with dental sealants, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS today!