After your child's adult teeth have come in, you may want to start thinking about getting them dental sealants. They can be a great way to protect your child's teeth to ensure that they stay healthy. If you have never heard of dental sealants before, these are four questions you may have about them.
What Are They?
A dental sealant is a clear coating that is applied on top of the tooth's biting surface, typically on the premolars and adult molars. Since this part of the tooth has many fissures and pits, they can be hard to clean. When you factor in a child that does not understand the consequences of poor brushing, dental sealants can help protect them from having cavities in the teeth that frequently get them.
Dental sealants will fill in the grooves and pits of their teeth, making it difficult for plaque and food to collect in the small crevices of the molars.
When Can My Child Get Dental Sealants?
As long as they have a tooth without any fillings or decay, they can have dental sealants installed. The best time for your child to get them is when they are between the ages of 6 and 14, when their teeth are most cavity prone. It is normal for the premolars and adult molars to get dental sealants as soon as the teeth come in.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The entire procedure is quick and painless. It may require some drilling, but the purpose is to smooth the dental sealant after it has been applied.
It starts by giving the teeth a thorough cleaning, followed by isolating the teeth with cotton rolls and dental dams to keep it dry. If a tooth receiving a dental sealant has any saliva on it, the dental sealant may not adhere to the tooth properly.
The dentist will place a gel onto the tooth that helps roughen the tooth's surface, making it easy for the dental sealant to stick to the tooth. The gel is then rinsed off, and the sealant will be applied directly to the enamel of the tooth. The sealant will dry and harden, sometimes with the assistance of a curing light to speed up the process.
Will Dental Sealants Last Forever?
The sealant can wear down over time, but expect to get an average of 10 years worth of protection from dental sealants. Your dentist will check on the condition of the dental sealant during their regular 6 month check up.
Now that you know more information about dental sealants, you can decide if they are something you should get for your child. (For more information on this, contact Sunridge Mall Peridontal Clinic)