For the Kids:
Below is a great video from the American Dental Association for the kids to watch so they can learn about our dental sealants.
For the Parents:
Sometimes, children need an extra boost to keep unwanted cavities at bay. Dental sealants aren’t a permanent solution, but they do create a protective barrier between the teeth and enamel-eroding acids caused by bacteria. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), sealants are shown to reduce cavities by 86% the first year and 56% after four years. They’re usually placed on the baby molars between the ages of 6 -13.
As a practice with some of Katy’s top pediatric dentists we are always trying to educate our patients and their parents about how they can maintain great oral care at home. Even with sealants, it’s important for kids to continue practicing their dental hygiene routine to avoid cavities. To learn more about preventative dentistry, check out parent guide below.
Why are baby teeth important?
Baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth later in life, but it’s imperative for kids to maintain healthy, strong primary teeth because those teeth help kids chew, speak, smile, and hold space in the jaws for permanent that are developing below the surface. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get children to take their dental hygiene as seriously as we do and it can be even harder to keep them from sneaking extra sugary snacks throughout the day. As a result, many pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants to keep baby teeth safe from cavities.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is applied over the teeth to reduce the risk of dental decay. The sealant serves as a protective layer between potential cavity-causing bacteria and the actual enamel of the teeth. Most people get dental sealants on their molar teeth because those teeth are grooved and tend to collect food debris more easily than the front teeth.
What are the benefits of getting dental sealants?
When the bacteria in our mouth turn sugar and carbs into acids, our hard enamel dissolves and cavities are formed. If the cavities are not cleaned and treated, they can become deep and reach the dentine or even dental pulp, which could cause tooth sensitivity and pain. In serious cases, the affected area could become infected.
Dental sealants keep bacteria and sugar from actually eroding our teeth because there is a barrier between the plaque and the actual teeth. In fact, getting dental sealants can prevent the risk of decay by up to 80% in molars. These teeth are more at risk of developing cavities because it can be particularly difficult to brush and remove particles of food in the areas we can’t see or reach.
How long do dental sealants last?
Although dental sealants can last up to ten years, they should get replaced or refurbished every 2 – 3 years. Many children will also lose their baby teeth before the sealants completely chip or wear away. The pediatric dentist will make sure to check on the condition of the dental sealants at each dental exam and fix any problems.
Should my child get dental sealants?
Not everyone needs to get dental sealants. Unless your child is cavity-prone or has trouble brushing and flossing their teeth, most children won’t need them. However, dental sealants are still a great option to protect the teeth that you can discuss with your child and his or her pediatric dentist.
How are sealants applied?
Our pediatric dentist will make sure to thoroughly explain the process to the patient to ease any dental anxiety. Getting dental sealants is a simple and painless process.
- The teeth are cleaned and all plaque is removed.
- Then, a gel is applied to the surface of the teeth to create a strong bond between the tooth and sealant.
- After some time, the gel will be rinsed off and the teeth will be dried before applying the sealant.
- A special light will be used to dry and cement the sealant.