The use of dental sealants is not new in the dental profession, but it may be something you have not thought of before. This dental treatment could make a lot of sense in improving your child’s oral health. Your dentist has the knowledge and training to let you know whether your son or daughter is a good candidate for this protective element.
Tips for preventing tooth decay
Cavities are common in children. There are many reasons for this, including ineffective brushing and flossing. Many children also drink a lot of sugary drinks such as soda. Others eat too much junk food. These beverages and foods can weaken tooth enamel and allow decay to take over teeth. Also, missing teeth cleaning appointments and wellness checkups can have a negative effect on the child’s dental health.
A brief explanation of dental sealants
The dentist will paint sealants on the biting surface of teeth to help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The sealant is a thin piece of plastic coating that blends in with the tooth, as it is a similar color. The sealant will most often go on a molar because of their proneness to cavities. Once the dentist puts on the sealant, it rapidly bonds to the tooth and gets into the depressions and grooves. Patients can think of them as protective shells such as a helmet.
When to get them
Children and teens are good candidates for dental sealants. Parents may wonder why this is the case. These are common years for cavities in the back teeth, and sealants will help to keep decay at bay. Most dentists will put sealants on teeth between the ages of 6 and 14.
However, dentists will not exclude older patients from getting sealants. Adults who have not had cavities in their molars can consider this treatment. The dentist will determine whether this makes sense for the patient. Sealants should go on teeth that do not have fillings.
Before getting dental sealants, the patient must first have clean teeth. At an appointment, the dentist will thoroughly clean and dry all the teeth. Next, the dentist roughens the teeth, which helps the sealant bond well with them. After rinsing the patient’s mouth, the dentist puts on the sealants and cures them with a light.
Sealants are not permanent, but they can last for several years. With good care, most dental sealants will do their job effectively for up to 10 years. However, sealants are prone to cracking and chipping. The dentist will examine them at each wellness checkup to make sure they are in good condition. It is possible to replace them as needed.
Another guard against cavities
Tooth decay can cause intense pain and discomfort. The most severe cavities can cause infections and tooth loss. There are ways you can avoid these problems. Good oral hygiene is the right place to start. Getting dental sealants is a smart move as well. Talk to your dentist today about putting sealants on your child’s teeth. It may even make sense to do this with your teeth.
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