Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases that afflicts children in the United States. In fact, it is five times more common than asthma, four time more common than early childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than diabetes. At Barefield Pediatric Dentistry, our aim is to do all we can to reverse this troubling trend and help young ones enjoy cavity-free smiles for as long as possible. Dental sealants are one of our primary weapons in the battle against tooth decay. This page explains what dental sealants are and how they benefit your child.
A dental sealant is simply a thin coating that we apply to the chewing surface of molars and premolars. It creates a barrier between the tooth and food particles and bacteria that would otherwise cling to it and contribute to decay. They are particularly useful for stopping plaque accumulation in the grooves in teeth, which can be difficult for children to clean thoroughly when they are brushing.
Dental sealants are made of a plastic material that is not noticeable when the person with them laughs, speaks, or smiles. Sealants typically last for 5 – 10 years after they are placed, but their lifespan can vary depending on the patient’s habits and other factors.
We usually recommend dental sealants for all children. We like to apply them soon after the permanent premolars and molars erupt so as to minimize the chances that such teeth with suffer from decay. Depending on how quickly your child’s mouth develops, they may receive their first sealants between the ages of 5 and 7. They may get their last sealants as their second set of permanent molars erupts, usually between ages 11 and 14.
While sealants are a wise preventive measure for any child, they may be particularly use for children who:
The process for applying dental sealants is painless and quick. It does not require any drilling, and it is not necessary to modify the structure of the teeth in any way.
During the treatment procedure, the first thing we do is clean and dry the teeth. We then apply a slightly acidic solution to roughen up the teeth’s surface. Doing so helps the sealant material to adhere better to the enamel. After we rinse off the acid and dry the tooth, we brush on the sealant. We may use a special curing light to help the seal harden as quickly as possible. Your child will be able to eat and drink normally right after their appointment.
Do you believe your child could benefit from dental sealants? Contact your kids’ dentist in Duncanville to learn more about this preventive treatment.