As a parent, you want your child to maintain optimal pediatric dental health. With regular pediatric dental care visits, your family dentist can help determine the best treatment and prevention plans to meet your child’s oral health care needs. By doing this you not only spare your little one from future pain and discomfort but save money on expensive fillings, and crowns as well.
What are pediatric dental care sealants?
Sealants are plastic coatings placed on your child’s teeth to protect hard to reach areas that are often hard to clean. Sealants create a barrier that protect teeth from problem causing bacteria that cause tooth decay resulting in unwanted cavities.
Why are pediatric dental care sealants so important?
Not all children need sealants. However, they are particularly beneficial to children at higher risk for tooth decay. You child may be considered a higher risk if he or she has had a cavity filled in the past three years. While high risk may sound bad, the good news is that you can help prevent future cavities by making sure your child visits their pediatric dentist for preventive care visits while having sealants applied to their first and second molars.
How are pediatric dental care sealants applied?
Since there is no drilling or painful procedures involved, your child’s pediatric dentist will simply apply the sealants to the chewing surfaces of their permanent molars as soon as they fully erupt (grow in). Depending on their age, first molars typically erupt between the ages of 6 to 8 years old while second molars erupt between 10 to 12 years of age.
Sealants are a simple and painless process that takes only a few minutes per tooth for your pediatric dentist to apply. The application steps are as follows:
Teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and dried.
An acid solution is then applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
The teeth are then once again rinsed and dried.
Sealants are then painted onto the tooth enamel where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How long do pediatric dental care sealants last?
Sealants help protect against tooth decay for up to 10 years. However, regular pediatric dental care visits are recommended to check for chipping or wearing. Your pediatric dentist can replace sealants as necessary should they need to be repaired.