Learn Why Dental Sealants Are So Effective
If your child is about to get their adult teeth then their pediatric dentist might have mentioned dental sealants. But what are they and why should you consider them? Dental sealants consist of a very thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. These are the teeth right at the back of the mouth that have flat chewing surfaces used for grinding up food.
The reason why you should consider protecting these surfaces is quite simple, as these teeth are particularly vulnerable towards decay. This is because the chewing surfaces have lots of tiny fissures and grooves that help grind up food more effectively. Unfortunately it is very easy for food and bacteria to become trapped in these fissures, and it can be tricky for a toothbrush to get right into them to clean effectively.
When is the Best Time to Have Dental Sealants?
The best time to have these teeth sealed is soon after they erupt, before there is any chance for dental decay to develop. Dental sealants can only be applied to teeth that do not have any cavities, and which have not been filled. Applying dental sealants to these teeth helps protect them at a time when they are particularly vulnerable to decay, as children’s teeth are more prone towards developing cavities between the ages of six and fourteen. If your child has particularly deep grooves in their baby teeth then it is possible your pediatric dentist will suggest sealing these teeth, even though they will soon be replaced by adult teeth. This is because it is important to ensure milk or baby teeth are not lost too soon as it can affect the development of their adult teeth.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The process to apply dental sealants is simple and completely painless. It will only take a short appointment for treatment to be completed. The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned before being painted with an acidic solution that helps roughen the tooth surfaces to create a better bond between the sealant and the tooth. The etching solution is washed off and the tooth is completely dried before the sealant is painted onto the tooth surface. It can either be allowed to harden naturally, or your pediatric dentist may use a special blue light to accelerate this process, and that’s it. Afterwards your child will be able to eat and drink normally.
You can expect dental sealants to last up to ten years before they need replacing, but they will be checked by the dentist at each checkup. This is an excellent preventative dental care treatment, and the cost is likely to be covered by any dental insurance plan you may have.
If your child missed out on the chance to have dental sealants then there are still plenty of things your pediatric dentist can do to help their teeth remain as strong and healthy as possible. Tooth enamel can be hardened with fluoride applications in the form of gels or varnishes, and regular checkups can go a long way towards maintaining strong teeth.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)