A winter coat protects you from cold temperatures, a raincoat from a downpour. Dental sealants protect your child’s teeth from decay and wear and tear. Here’s how.
Your child’s molars naturally have grooved and pitted chewing surfaces that can harbor bacteria and an acidic environment. For children, most cavities are found in those back molars and sealants are used to protect those vulnerable chewing surfaces and keep them healthy and cavity-free. Sealants are a clear or shaded plastic that are brushed onto your child’s teeth. Although sealants do not guarantee that your child will never get a cavity, they are effective in lowering the risk of cavities.
Process of Applying a Sealant
The application process is quick, easy, and painless! The sealants are painted on a dry, clean chewing surface and then hardened with a special light to help the sealant dry and ultimately seal the tooth. This is typically done in one office visit following a routine cleaning. Your child can return to school and eat normally shortly after the sealant has hardened.
The application is a quick and comfortable process. For the application, your child’s dental hygienist will first clean the tooth, then condition and dry it to prepare for the sealant to be applied. The sealant material is then flowed into the pits and grooves of the tooth and hardened with a special light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
In the years following the sealant application, your pediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine visits and recommend re-application or repair if or when necessary.
How are Sealants Helpful?
Sealants are virtually invisible to the eye and an important part of your child’s preventive dental care. Once the sealants are applied, they can help prevent tooth decay for 5 to 10 years.
Do Sealants Need to be Reapplied?
Sometimes, but your child’s dentist will check sealants during their routine cleanings and determine if their sealant needs to be reapplied or repaired. At Coulter & Casper, our dentists guarantee our sealants for 3 years, and we will replace them at no charge within those 3 years if reapplication is necessary.
Should My Child Continue to Brush and Floss After the Dentist Applies Sealants?
Absolutely! While sealants are effective, they only provide one layer of protection. Practicing proper dental hygiene at home is the best way to protect your child’s smile. Make sure your child is brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. Continue to visit the dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings and offer your child healthy snacks and a balanced, nutritious diet.