Dental sealants are plastic coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars (back teeth) to protect and prevent tooth decay. The thin sealant will adhere rapidly to the top part of the tooth creating a smooth cover and serving as a shield over the enamel of each tooth. Dental Sealants will protect the teeth from cavities especially if applied since childhood. Sealants will typically last three to five years, and is one of the most trusted procedures for children by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) as they are shown to reduce cavities by 86% the first year and 56% after four years.
Why are baby teeth important?
A child’s primary teeth (baby teeth) begin to appear between the sixth and twelfth month. Ordinarily, baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth starting at about age 6 when the middle front teeth (incisors) become loose. Back teeth (Molars and premolars) usually will shed later and new ones will erupt when the child is between ages 10 and 13.
To avoid cavities, dental hygiene routine is strongly recommended since early childhood; but even with strong practices tooth decay is a reality. To keep a child’s teeth healthy and strong dentists highly recommend dental sealants. The sealants are placed on the baby molars (Baby Teeth) to evade the formation of the above mentioned cavities and improve the health of the teeth. It is important for children to continue practicing their daily dental hygiene routine even after they get sealants.
Why get dental sealants?
Dental sealants are painless and one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Even with the best cleaning practices, plaque accumulation and bacteria on our teeth will create an acid that will damage the enamel of our teeth and cause decay. Our back teeth, due to their position, are extremely hard to clean and –therefore- the most vulnerable to be damaged.
Dental sealants, especially at early stages of our lives, can provide extra protection and help us maintain strong healthy teeth. Children will get their first molars at about 6 years old, and their second ones about 12, so early treatments are recommended to avoid any chance of decay.
Should all children get dental sealants?
Every child is unique and not everyone needs to get dental sealants. But if your kid is cavity prone, or has trouble following a proper dental hygiene or as a preventive measure; then dental sealants are recommended.
What is the process of applying dental sealants?
Applying dental sealants is an easy, painless and quick procedure. Your dentist will carefully clean and dry your teeth. Protective cotton and/or any absorbent material will be used on the mouth to keep the tooth dry throughout the procedure. Afterwards, an acid solution is used on the surface of the tooth to help prepare the tooth for the sealant. Once the solution is rinsed off and the tooth is dried again, the sealant will be applied over the tooth enamel with the help of a blue curing light that will harden the plastic.
How do dental sealants look?
Dental Sealants are almost invisible to the untrained eye, they are clear or white in color. They are applied on the back teeth so that makes them hard to spot; most people do not notice them unless carefully instructed to do so.