What Are Dental Sealants, and Should My Child Have Them?

What Are Dental Sealants, and Should My Child Have Them?

Jun 01, 2022

Brushing and flossing are incredibly essential for everyone. However, the best way to prevent your child from getting cavities is to get them dental sealants on their molars.

The CDC has recently touted the benefits of a relatively inexpensive and straightforward procedure of getting dental sealants for children. However, less than 50 percent of children have dental sealants on their molars, confirming that the treatment is still gaining traction. Dental sealants are an effective and safe remedy against cavities, as they have been for over four decades.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent tooth decay. The sealants adhere quickly to the depressions and grooves of the molars to form a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

How Do They Function?

Brushing and flossing undoubtedly help remove food particles and plaque from the smoother surfaces of the teeth. Unfortunately, getting into the nooks and crannies of the molars is challenging to remove food and plaque. Sealants function by protecting the vulnerable areas from tooth decay by sealing out food particles and plaque.

At What Age Should Children Get Dental Sealants?

Children develop molars at six, 12, and 18. Soon after your child develops molars, it helps if you take them to the kid’s dentist in Greenwood to seal the pits and fissures of the molars and premolars to provide them with a protective barrier over their teeth. Baby or primary teeth can also be sealed so long as your child is old enough to tolerate the painless procedure requiring them to sit with their mouth open without moving for a few minutes. Generally, younger teeth are treated only when there is an increased risk of tooth decay.

Should Your Child Have Dental Sealants?

Your child can report lost school time because of tooth decay as it interferes with sleeping, eating, and other activities. Besides preventing dental cavities, sealants ensure that the teeth remain intact. It is why the kid’s dentist in 29649 recommends dental sealants for children.

After filling, restoring, and drilling a tooth, its natural structure is compromised. There are lifetime costs associated with maintaining the restored tooth. However, most children benefit from prevention by using dental sealants on their molars.

Dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for up to two years after an application. After that, the protection remains ongoing for another four years against 50 percent of cavities while the sealants themselves stay on the teeth for nine years.

School-age children without sealants have nearly three times more cavities than children having them. Approximately 43 percent of six to 11-year-olds have dental sealants on their teeth in higher-income households. Unfortunately, children from low-income families are 20 percent less likely to have sealants than their counterparts from higher-income families.

Is the Sealants Procedure Expensive?

The dental sealant procedure is inexpensive, costing merely $ 30-$ 60 per tooth. Some insurance plans and discount plans reduce the costs further.

The Application of Dental Sealants

Applying dental sealants is a straightforward and painless procedure. When you take your child to get dental sealants in Greenwood, their teeth are first thoroughly cleaned. Each molar is dried with cotton or other material before applying an etching solution to the chewing surfaces to rough them up to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The molar is again dried in preparation for applying the dental sealant.

Finally, the kid’s dentist near you paints the sealant onto the tooth enamel to bond with the tooth and harden. Dentists also use ultraviolet light to harden the sealant.

Do Sealants Remain on the Teeth for Nearly a Decade?

Sealants help protect against decay for almost a decade. However, Dr. Salvatore Livreri checks them up during regular dental checkups for chipping or wearing down. They also replace the sealants if necessary.

Dental sealants are an effective barrier against cavities because they create smoother surfaces on your molars to help you clean them appropriately. Children and teenagers are suitable candidates for dental sealants soon after their molars erupt. However, adults without restorations on their teeth can also have dental sealants as a protective measure against cavities.

Getting dental sealants on your child’s teeth prevents unnecessary dental treatments for tooth decay and cavities. Therefore if your child needs them, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Kids First Dental providing dental sealants for children.

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