Many parents have heard about dental sealants, but aren’t exactly sure what they are or if their child needs them. Dental sealants are a protective coating placed on teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities. These are normally placed on the back teeth or molars, over the deep and narrow grooves that are difficult to reach with normal brushing.
The molars are the primary teeth used for chewing food, and therefore have the most contact with food particles in the mouth. Tooth sealants prevent food particles from entering these deep grooves in the molars, and help keep out oral bacteria.
Are Dental Sealants Appropriate for Children?
Children can benefit greatly from dental sealants. While tooth sealants are typically placed on the permanent, adult teeth, children with a history of cavities and plaque may require dental sealants to prevent widespread tooth decay. Adult molars can start erupting at around age 6, and many children have difficulties brushing their back teeth correctly. A dental sealant on these teeth can help children maintain a great smile.
Other variables can come into play as well. Some children may have deeper grooves in their molars than others, making cavities more likely. Children who have had large amounts of plaque buildup on previous dental visits or who have little access to fluoride may also make good candidates for dental sealants. Dental sealants provide excellent protection for your child’s teeth with minimal discomfort.
Are Children’s Dental Sealants Safe?
There have been no adverse affects reported from the use of dental sealants on children. The CDC highly recommends dental sealants as a useful way to prevent dental problems in children. Dental sealants typically come off on their own within 3-5 years of placement.
However, if the tooth was not kept dry during the procedure, the dental sealant can come off sooner. If you notice that the sealant is missing from your child’s teeth, notify your dentist so that a new action plan can be created for your child’s dental care.
Dental sealants keep cavities from forming in your child’s mouth, and are a far healthier alternative to tooth pain and decay. No matter how long the tooth sealants stay in place, they are a worthwhile investment in your child’s dental health. Each day with dental sealants in place is a day without oral bacteria entering your child’s teeth, creating cavities and plaque.
Discuss Dental Sealants with Your Child’s Dentist
Only your dentist can determine when the time is right for your child to have dental sealants placed on their teeth. Discuss your child’s dental health with your dentist, along with any questions or concerns you may have. A dentist experienced in children’s dental care can provide you with reassurance and information about dental sealants for children.
Your children can grow up with a beautiful bright smile. Dental sealants are just one tool used to maintain that smile throughout childhood. With proper dental care and careful attention from your dentist, painful and unattractive cavities do not have to be a problem for your children. Ask you’re your friendly Big Smile Chicago Dentist team about the use of dental sealants today!