Does Your Child Need Sealants?
If you didn’t know yet, February is National Children’s Dental Health month and throughout the month of February we have focused on the importance of dental health for children and today, we’re focusing on Sealants.
Prevention and proactivity, rather than reactivity are key when it comes to keeping your child’s mouth squeaky clean and healthy. Children aren’t always able to be supervised, and when left to their own devices, most children will either forget to or not care about brushing their teeth. And when children don’t brush their teeth and eat the things most kids do (fruit snacks, lollipops and other sticky, sweet treats) the signs of tooth decay begin to form. A quick, painless and effective way to ensure children remain (mostly) cavity free, aside from brushing and flossing daily, are Sealants.
According to the American Dental Association, Sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%, which means an effective and foolproof means of cavity prevention. The American Dental Association also speaks to the safety of Sealants, and that there is no health concern for Sealants or the material used in them.
Sealants are a plastic material dentists put in the pits of the chewing surfaces of your teeth. This mostly happens on the molars at the back of the mouth, but can also be placed on other teeth that have grooves or pits for protection. Even though toothbrushes are an effective means of tooth cleaning, they have not advanced enough to be able to reach into the different grooves of the teeth, which means spots are left unclean and food particles still stuck.
Sealants may sound scary, but dentists can quickly and painlessly give your child extra protection against harmful bacteria and tooth decay. Your dentist will first dry the tooth and ensure the tooth remains dry with cotton. Once the tooth is dry, your dentist will put a material on your child’s tooth that roughens up the surface, making it easier for the sealant to adhere. Once this solution is dried, your dentist will then apply the Sealant ma
terial, which dries quickly and instantly begins protecting your child against hard to reach food particles that can cause cavities. It’s as easy as that!
Sealants typically last 10 or more years, but dentists recommend getting them checked more often. If you schedule your semi-annual cleaning and check-up, your dentist will be able to keep on top of the quality of the sealants and if any repair or maintenance is needed. Dentists still recommend that children be supervised while cleaning their teeth and also to limit the amount of sugary, sticky foods they eat. Sealants are only a way to protect the molars and sometimes other teeth from cavities, but brushing, flossing and a quick rinse are still necessary to keep your child’s mouth healthy.
If you think your child may be a candidate for Sealants, contact West Chester Dental Arts and schedule an appointment with our gentle, caring and experienced professionals. We’ll make sure we take excellent care of your most precious asset and have them leaving the office with a healthy smile for years to come!