You already know the importance of brushing and flossing to your child’s dental health, but it’s difficult to clean every tiny nook and cranny where bacteria can hide. The back teeth, also known as molars, are especially vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria due to their rough, uneven texture.
Perhaps your Charlottesville children’s dentist recently suggested applying sealants to your child’s molars. What exactly are sealants, and are they a good choice for your child? Here’s everything you need to know about dental sealants for children.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back molars. They’re easily explained as raincoats for the teeth, but instead of protecting from water, they protect against sugar, bacteria, and acid. This simple layer of dental plastic is proven to reduce the risk of decay up to 80% in back molars.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
It’s quick, easy, and painless to apply dental sealants on your child’s teeth. Your dentist cleans each tooth and then applies a gel that makes it easier for the tooth and sealant to bond. After a few seconds, the sealant can be brushed on like paint. The sealant material is applied directly onto the grooves of each molar in order to cover them. All of this is followed up with a special blue light to harden the sealant and make it as durable as possible.
3 Reasons Your Child Should Get Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are simple yet incredibly powerful. They’re so safe that no known side effects exist. Consider these three important reasons to give your child dental sealants.
Sealants Give Extra Protection to the Back Teeth
It’s all too easy for bacteria to become trapped in the grooves and pits of your child’s molars. If that bacteria isn’t fully brushed away, it breeds plaque and tartar that turns into cavities. The simple applications of dental sealants create the extra cavity protection that your child’s back teeth need to stay healthy and free from decay.
Sealants Prevent Decay
Your child has enough to worry about, from band practice to homework. The last thing you need are a few painful cavities to sidetrack your routine. Sealants so effectively prevent decay that, according to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”
Sealants Save Money on Future Dental Treatments
Restorative dental procedures become expensive- quickly! Cavity fillings, crowns, and other procedures are often required after cavities form. Dental sealants provide a quick and affordable way to stop decay before it begins, eliminating the need for costly future dental treatments.
Schedule Your Child’s Charlottesville Dental Sealant Appointment Today
Your child’s first set of molars will erupt around age 6, while the second set will appear around age 12. Make sure you ask your dentist about sealants to keep those back teeth durable, healthy, and strong.
Dr. Al and his team at Blue Ridge Family Dentistry are family dentistry experts. They understand that your child needs personal, attentive care to maintain a happy, healthy smile.