When it comes to your child’s health, we know you as a parent want to do everything to ensure they are as healthy as possible. The pediatric dentists at Westgrove Dental take your child’s oral health seriously and partner with you to ensure your child’s healthiest smile.
One tool we use to help aid in preserving your child’s oral health is dental sealants.
What is a dental sealant?
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted onto the surface of your child’s tooth to protect it from decay. It is placed over the grooves and pits of molars for added protection. We know that these back teeth can often be difficult to clean properly, so sealants can help prevent cavities before they can even begin.
How long do sealants last?
Dental sealants typically last three to five years, and we can begin using them around the age of six.
Why should your child get dental sealants?
Dental sealants are an excellent way to prevent cavities. Early childhood caries are the number one early childhood condition, but they are largely preventable. Sealants have been proven to protect against decay and cavities by as much as 80%.
Even those most diligent tooth brusher can have a difficult time adequately reaching their back molars. And because these teeth have pits and grooves on them that allow food debris to get caught, sealants are an additional peace of mind that your child’s oral health is well taken care of.
How is a dental sealant applied?
Your child has nothing to worry about when they get a dental sealant – it’s a quick, easy and completely painless process and typically occurs during a child’s regularly scheduled check-up. We start by cleaning and drying the tooth. Then, we apply a gel to the chewing surface – this allows for the sealant to adhere properly to the tooth. After the gel is rinsed off, and the tooth is completely dry, we “paint” the liquid plastic onto the tooth, taking great care to cover all of the grooves and pits on the chewing surface. Then we use a special light to cure, or harden, the sealant. And that’s all there is to it – no pain, and nothing for your child to worry about.
Will the sealants be visible on my child’s teeth?
Sealants are typically only placed on the chewing surface of the molars, but even though those teeth can’t usually be seen, the sealant won’t be visible. Sealants are usually clear or white in color, allowing them to blend in with the natural surface of the tooth. You’d have to get an up close view of your child’s back molars to even be able to notice them.
How will I know if my child’s sealants need to be replaced?
Don’t worry – if we notice that your child’s sealants have worn or started to deteriorate, our pediatric dental team will let you know. The sealants should last for several years before they will need to be replaced.