What Are Dental Sealants for Kids?: The Essential Facts All Parents Should Know
Did you know that dental caries can affect your childâ€™s body weight, growth, and quality of life?
Even a slight toothache is enough to disrupt a childâ€™s dietary intake, sleep, and school activities. Studies also link dental caries to severe health conditions like endocarditis and pneumonia.
So whatâ€™s the best way to protect your kids from getting cavities?
Brushing and flossing will always remain staples in the fight against tooth decay. But have you heard of dental sealants for kids?
As a relatively cheap and straightforward procedure, dental sealants may be the best means of cavity prevention in kids. How does this procedure â€œseal outâ€ tooth decay and protect your childâ€™s smile? Continue reading below to learn more.
What Are Dental Sealants for Kids?
Dental hygiene for kids presents a unique challenge. The first permanent molars usually erupt when your child is about six years old. But these newly erupted teeth arenâ€™t as strong as adult teeth and are more susceptible to tooth decay.
Furthermore, the surface of molars is uneven, rough, and has tiny grooves called fissures. Food particles, plaque, and bacteria love to hide in the nooks and crannies. The toothbrush bristles usually have a difficult time trying to clean these hard-to-reach places.
Dental sealants protect those vulnerable areas by applying a thin plastic coating over the chewing surface. They act as a barrier that prevents debris and plaque from settling on the teeth and causing trouble.
How Is Dental Sealant for Children Applied?
Getting dental sealants is a quick, simple, and painless procedure.
After thorough cleaning and drying, the dentist applies an acid solution on each tooth to be sealed. Slightly roughing up the surface helps the sealant adhere better. The teeth are then rinsed and dried again.
The dentist can now paint on the sealant, filling up the tiny grooves on the tooth surface. A special blue light aids with hardening the sealing material, which only takes about 20 to 60 seconds.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a safe, non-invasive, and painless method of preventing dental caries. According to the CDC, sealants can protect the back teeth against 80 percent of cavities for two years.
Typically, sealants can last up to ten years if you choose the best dentist with a great application technique. During your childâ€™s regular dental check-ups, the dentist will also check them for chipping and wearing. Of course, the kids still need to brush and floss â€“ sealed teeth still require the same oral hygiene as regular teeth.
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
Children and teenagers are the ideal candidates for sealants. Adults without fillings or extensive decay on their molars can also benefit from this procedure.
The best time to get sealants is as soon as the molars erupt. This ensures that your childâ€™s teeth are protected during the years that theyâ€™re prone to developing cavities.
Should My Child Have a Dental Sealant?
When it comes to your childâ€™s dental health, brushing and flossing may not be enough. Dental sealants for kids provide that extra protection against cavities. With this safe and painless procedure, you can protect your childâ€™s wonderful smile for many years.
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