Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?

child getting dental sealants
Dentists have been using dental sealants to prevent cavities in people for years. However, are they worth the potential risks and costs? Are they appropriate for kids? To answer these questions, you need to understand what they are, as well as their pros and cons.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin coatings painted or applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent cavities. They protect the molars by covering them with a protective shield. The shield blocks out food particles and germs.

Dental Sealants for Kids

Once applied, a sealant can protect against up to 80 percent of cavities for two years. Dental sealants can continue to prevent 50 percent of cavities for up to four years. Kids aged six to eleven years without dental sealants are almost three times more likely to develop cavities in the first molar than those with sealants.

Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants?

Are you wondering whether dental sealants are appropriate for your little one? If so, the answer is an emphatic yes. They are an efficient and fast way to protect your child’s teeth. They act as a barrier to prevent cavities from forming in vulnerable areas of the back teeth. Sealants will cover the grooves and pits of your child’s teeth.

Kids with baby teeth as well as permanent teeth can benefit from dental sealants. Some of the reasons to have a dental professional apply sealants to your child’s teeth include:

Brushing Does Not Get Everything

Even if your child practices good flossing and brushing habits, it is still difficult to reach into those deep grooves and pits to get rid of food particles and plaque. Dental sealants can help protect those vulnerable areas.

Sealants Reduce Deep Grooves in Teeth

Molars have deeper depressions and grooves on their surfaces. That makes it more challenging to clean them properly. Most unreachable spots on the back teeth are prime areas for food particles and plaque to collect, leading to tooth decay. Sealants reduce the depth of the grooves, thereby preventing tooth decay.

The Process of Getting Sealants Is Painless and Quick

The application process is quite simple. Your pediatric dentist will clean your child’s teeth and prepare them for the sealant material. This material consists of a mild solution similar to vinegar or lemon juice. The roughness of the surface of the molars will help the sealant material bond properly.

The sealant will flow into the grooves and depressions on the teeth and fill them in. It only takes about two minutes for the material to harden. Once hardened, it will seal and prevent bacteria from collecting in the grooves and pits.

They Are Long-lasting

Applying dental sealants during childhood can help protect your child’s teeth throughout the most cavity-prone years of their life. With proper care, sealants can last for many years. Your little one just needs to avoid biting down on hard objects and maintain good oral hygiene habits.

But while sealants are effective at protecting children’s teeth, they are not a substitute for excellent oral hygiene, healthy eating habits, or regular dental exams.

For more on dental sealants, call Eagle Gate Dental at 801-781-5300 to reach our office in Salt Lake City, Utah.