Sealants are a preventive treatment that gives your child’s smile added protection from cavities caused by tooth decay.
They’re a thin, plastic material that your dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth, where it molds into the grooves and ridges of their teeth. The sealant quickly hardens, effectively turning your child’s molars and premolars into smooth chewing surfaces.
These smooth surfaces seal out food particles and debris from getting stuck in the hard-to-reach areas of their teeth, keeping your child’s smile healthier and less susceptible to developing decay and cavities.request an appointment
At what age can my child get sealants?
Your child can get sealants on their permanent premolars and molars as soon as they’ve fully emerged.
Children are most prone to developing cavities between the ages of 6 and 14, so getting sealants before this time can significantly help in protecting them from developing tooth decay.
In some situations, dental sealants can even be administered on baby teeth. Even though your child eventually loses their baby teeth, their health is important for maintaining the proper space for their permanent teeth to come in.
That’s why it might benefit your child’s oral health to get sealants on their baby teeth if they have significantly deep grooves or depressions in them.
What’s involved with getting sealants?
The process of applying sealants to your child’s teeth is quick, simple, and painless. First, your dentist cleans your child’s teeth, then dries them with either cotton or another absorbent material.
Once their teeth are clean and dry, they apply a gentle acid solution on the chewing surfaces of their molars and premolars. This solution makes their enamel slightly rougher and helps the sealant bond to them.
After their teeth have been treated, your dentist rinses and dries them again, then paints the sealant material onto them. The material bonds to their teeth and hardens within a few moments. In some cases, they use a special curing light to speed up the drying process.
The whole procedure only takes a few minutes, after which your child has a healthier and less cavity-prone smile.
How long will my child’s sealants last?
If properly taken care of, sealants can last for up to 10 years. When your child comes in for their regular cleaning and exam, your dentist checks their sealants to make sure that they’re not chipped or worn down. If they are, they can replace them as necessary.