How Dental Sealants for kids can protect and prevent cavities
Children’s teeth are just as susceptible to cavities and decay as adults. Cavities are rated the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents over the age of six, and in adolescents aged 14-17, tooth decay is four times more common than asthma. At Mona Dental Care in Spring, Texas, we use a multi-faceted approach to help prevent cavities in children, including dental sealants, a quick, easy, and effective preventive care treatment for children. Read on to learn more concerning dental sealants and get the answers to common questions that parents have about them.
What are dental sealants?
The molars in the back of the mouth tend to get more cavities than the front incisors and canines because they have several pits and grooves on the surface where food can get trapped, providing a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. Even with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet, brushing and flossing are sometimes insufficient to fully clean within all these hard-to-reach areas, which can ultimately lead to tooth decay. Dental sealants are designed to address this problem by “sealing out” the food, plaque, and bacteria, stopping cavities before they even start.
How effective are dental sealants?
Very effective! Research has shown that after one year, dental sealants reduce the risk of cavities by 86% on the tooth’s chewing surface. However, they cannot protect the surfaces between teeth, which means that your child still needs to be diligent about brushing and flossing every day.
How dental sealants are applied
Getting dental sealants is an easy and quick process that can typically be done during your child’s routine dental cleaning and check-up appointment. The sealant is made from a resin material that is clear or tooth-colored so that it blends in with the rest of your child’s smile. We typically recommend that sealants be applied on the six- and twelve-year molars, and in some cases, the permanent premolars and primary molars. To apply the sealants, we use the following steps:
- Thoroughly clean the teeth
- Condition and dry the teeth
- Paint the sealant onto the top of the teeth
- Use a special light to harden the sealant
- Adjust the shape of the sealant as needed so that your child’s bite is not affected
After the sealants are applied, your child can go right back to their regular daily routine, including eating and drinking immediately after the appointment as needed.
How long do dental sealants last?
If your child has good oral health and avoids biting on hard objects such as ice or pens, dental sealants can last for many years. During your child’s routine dental visits, we will check their sealants so that they can be repaired or reapplied if needed.
If you are wondering whether dental sealants are suitable for your child, call Mona Dental for Kids today at (832) 662-3008. Our office is conveniently located in Spring, TX, and serves patients from the Tomball, Woodlands, Champions, Conroe, and surrounding areas.