A Pediatric Dentist Discusses Dental Sealants for Kids

Dental sealants can be very helpful when it comes to preventing tooth decay. It is particularly effective when used on kids since they are less likely to consistently practice good oral hygiene.

A dental sealant is a protective coating that is used to protect the biting surfaces of teeth. It prevents food particles, bacteria and debris from becoming lodged in these places. The molars are the most likely to deal with tooth decay since they are used to grind down food. The pressure from grinding foods on their surfaces naturally pushes some debris into their grooves. The back molars are particularly susceptible to tooth decay since they have very narrow and deep grooves that are difficult to clean.

When food particles are stuck on teeth, bacteria that live in the mouth begin to feast on them. These bacteria excrete acids afterward and the acids start to break down the person's teeth. Eventually, cavities will form. If they are not promptly treated, these cavities will morph into more serious dental issues like pulpitis or an infection over time.

When should kids start getting sealants?

Children should get their first coat of sealant when they are around the age of six. This is the time their six-year molars erupt. The dental sealant will protect the kid's teeth for about 10 years.

Sealants do not just protect a child's teeth. Many are made from bioactive materials that can also deliver essential nutrients like fluoride, calcium and phosphorus. The sealant tends to gradually wear off over time, but a thin coat of sealant still provides lots of protection to a tooth.

Dental sealants can reduce a child's odds of developing cavities by up to 70 percent. That means fewer visits to the dentist dealing with issues like cavities.

Who should get sealants?

Sealants are highly recommended for children who are vulnerable to tooth decay. It can be a result of their genetics or it can be caused by bad habits like consuming too much sugar or not properly taking care of their teeth.

The application of sealants is a preventative procedure that has been proven to be quite effective. The process of getting them applied is also rather straightforward. The teeth that the sealant will be applied to are thoroughly cleaned and the sealant is carefully applied to them. The child will need to be cooperative during the procedure.

Dental sealants should not be confused with fillings. Fillings are the go-to solution when it comes to dealing with tooth decay. Fillings are used to stop cavities in their tracks and prevent them from expanding to the innermost layers of a tooth. But, sealants are used to prevent cavities from occurring in the first place.

If a tooth has already been affected by tooth decay, the dentist can fill it up with a filling and use a sealant to protect the biting surfaces of the tooth.

Worried your child might susceptible to tooth decay? Talk to a dentist about dental sealants today.

What are you waiting for?

Request an appointment in our Lutz dentist office here: https://www.milestonesdentistry.com.

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