Dental Sealants by the Pediatric Dentist Help Protect Teeth From Decay
Dental sealants are an effective preventative measure a pediatric dentist uses to help protect a child’s teeth against cavities and tooth decay. They coat the small indentations in teeth, forming a protective layer against plaque and decay. Sealants have been shown to reduce cavities by up to 80% and can last up to 10 years.
42% of children will have at least one cavity by age eleven. The main reasons are too many sugary snacks and drinks and poor oral hygiene. It might not seem like a priority to protect baby teeth from cavities if they’re just going to be replaced by adult teeth, but childhood is a crucial time to develop good oral health habits. However, there’s something more that can protect our kids’ teeth from cavities, and that’s dental sealants.
The chewing surfaces of molars have a lot of little hiding places where bacteria can grow and cause cavities. Sealants were first used in the ‘60s and have stuck around this long because they work. They get their name from the fact that they seal off the crevices in molars, reducing the risk of decay by as much as 80%.
Kids without sealants are nearly three times more likely to get cavities. Even if they’re good at brushing their teeth twice a day, they may not have the dexterity to do a thorough enough job on the chewing surfaces of their molars. With sealants, those parts of the teeth are protected.
Adding this protective layer to a child’s teeth is quick and easy. The pediatric dentist can do it within minutes in a regular visit. First, we give the surfaces of your child’s teeth a nice polish and clean away any food debris, plaque, or tartar that may be there. Then, we isolate and dry each tooth to prepare for the sealant.
Next comes the bonding agent that will hold the sealant in place. We rinse that off and dry the tooth again, and all that’s left is to paint the sealant material on! With the special curing light we use, it will harden quickly. After the pediatric dentist gives everything one final check, we’ll declare it safe to chew on!
Pediatric dentists like Drs. Decker, Howe, McNear, and Campbell at Young Dentistry for Children in Westminster, CO recommend that children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars start appearing. The first set of molars usually erupts around age 6 or 7. The earlier they get sealants, the better off those teeth will be because food and bacteria will never get the chance to settle into the crevices. But sealants aren’t only for kids! If you’d like to learn more, just ask.
Each child has a unique and special smile, and we want to make sure that parents have the best tools to keep those smiles healthy as they grow. Come to us with any questions you have about dental sealants or other cavity-fighting measures. We’re your best resource for child dental health, so make sure to use us! Make sure to check the map for directions before you head our way.
Sealants are a way the pediatric dentist protects your child’s teeth by keeping plaque from forming in the tiny crevices. Our pediatric dentist team often recommends sealants for children because kids’ teeth have small depressions in them that make them harder to properly clean through brushing alone. This can be especially helpful if your child has a weakness for sweets and/or a hard time sticking to good dental cleaning habits.
The process of applying sealants is short, easy, and does not require drilling or the removal of any tooth structure. After your teeth are cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surfaces for a few seconds. Each tooth is then washed and dried. Then the sealant is painted on the tooth. Typically, we also shine a special light on the tooth to help harden the sealant.
If you have questions about dental sealants for yourself, your child, or other loved ones don’t hesitate to ask. Call us today at (303) 604-0710 and together we can determine the best solution for you and your family.