You may have heard your dentist mention dental sealants to you after doing a routine check-up on your kids. But what are dental sealants and how can your kids benefit from this procedure?
This procedure involves applying a thin, plastic coating on the surfaces of teeth especially at the back-side of teeth with the goal of prevent tooth decay. Most of the time, dental sealants are applied on the pre-molars and molars of children. What dental sealants do is to form a protective shield on the enamel to deter the formation of cavities especially in high-risk individuals.
The reason for why dentists advise dental sealants is because of the fact that brushing, flossing and rinsing can only do so much. There are a lot of nooks and crannies found in the surfaces of one’s teeth and food debris may become stuck in these small spaces. What these sealants do is they fortify these vulnerable regions of one’s teeth.
Sealants on Your Children
When asked who would best benefit from these sealants, majority of dentists will always mention children and adolescents. Sealants are perfect for individuals who may not have formed a strict dental hygiene routine which is why younger patients fall perfectly into the category. However, because dental sealants protect regions with a lot of depressions and grooves from developing cavities, the procedure will also benefit adults with irregularly shaped teeth as well as those who may be at high-risk for getting dental cavities maybe because they have reduced secretions of saliva.
Children should get dental sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these pairs of teeth come in. If this procedure is done promptly, kids may be protected from the ages of 6 to 14, a period which is considered as cavity-prone.
The process of applying dental sealant is an easy and painless procedure, and a competent dental hygienist may even be able to perform the procedure. The procedure starts with the general cleaning of the teeth that are to be sealed. This is followed by a drying procedure wherein each tooth is wrapped in cotton to keep it dry. An acid solution is applied on the chewing surfaces which will help the sealant adhere to the teeth after which they are rinsed and dried. Finally, the sealant is painted over the teeth and a curing light is placed over the teeth to help accelerate the hardening of the sealant.