Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent tooth decay, but sometimes it isn’t enough to keep your children from developing a cavity. Dentists often recommend dental sealants as an important part of caring for kids’ teeth.
Dental sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80% in molars. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in 2016 that states, “School age children without sealants are three times more likely to have cavities than school age children with sealants.”
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin coatings placed over the chewing area of the child’s permanent molars to protect them from decay. Sealants become a barrier preventing bits of food, bacteria and acids from settling on your child’s teeth. The American Dental Association refers to them as “raincoats for your teeth.”
There aren’t many downsides to dental sealants. Normal wear and tear can cause the sealant to thin out over time, but with routine dental care, this can be easily observed and corrected.
How Are They Applied And How Long Do They Last?
Applying sealants is a quick and painless process. There is no drilling or numbing required when getting sealants.
- First, the teeth are cleaned and dried.
- Then, a solution is applied to the surface of the tooth so that the sealant better adheres.
- Next, the teeth are rinsed and dried again, and then the sealant is applied directly on the surface of the tooth. Sometimes an LED blue light is helped to cure the sealant on the tooth.
After the sealant is hardened, the appointment is complete. There are no restrictions following sealants.
Sealants last at a minimum 3 to 5 years; however, some can last up to 10 years. During regular dental visits, the condition of the sealant will be checked and can be reapplied as needed.
Dental Sealants vs. Fluoride
Fluoride treatments during dental hygiene and checkup visits are not as effective as dental sealants. Although fluoride treatments are an essential part of protecting your child’s teeth, they are most effective when used in tandem with sealants.
Fluoride helps to re-mineralize and strengthen all surfaces of tooth enamel. Dental sealants alter the tooth, making grooves more shallow, and therefore less likely to retain plaque and food particles.
The Dental Space Is Committed To Providing You And Your Family A Stress-Free And Painless Experience
If you’d like to learn more about how dental sealants are important for kids’ teeth or just need to schedule your family’s regular checkups, give The Dental Space a call at 512-667-9770.
Whether you are a returning patient or new patient, The Dental Space will ensure that you and your family have the healthiest and brightest smile possible. We provide state-of-the-art dental care at our office, 1101 Thorpe Ln, Suite 101, just off IH 35 in the Springtown Center Shopping Mall, to patients in San Marcos, TX and surrounding areas.
Many dental insurance plans are accepted, and we offer several different payment options to our patients.