Children don’t always catch the bug that makes them want to brush and floss diligently every single day. But it is just as vital for them to take good care of their teeth and gums as it is for adults, to create a healthy environment while they are still growing their permanent teeth.
The permanent teeth, especially the molars when they first erupt have deep grooves and fissures. As they are not exposed to enough fluoride at the time of eruption, they are highly susceptible to decay especially the first three to four years after eruption.
Dental sealants are a clear plastic material which is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. They are most vulnerable to tooth decay as they have pits and fissures where tiny food particles and plaque-causing bacteria often hide. It is a good idea to have sealant applied to the permanent molars as soon as they come in, but you may also want to have your child’s premolars sealed because teeth are more prone to cavities for children between 6-14 years of age.
The sealants can be applied during your child’s teeth cleaning visit. It is a good idea to have your child’s teeth cleaned every six months to remove hardened tartar, and your dentist can check to see if there are any new molars. If so, after the teeth are cleaned, the molar is dried and receives an acid solution to roughen up the surface so that the sealant can to stick to it. The sealant is then painted onto the molar. A curing light may be used to speed up the hardening process. And that is it!
With proper care and maintenance, the sealants can protect teeth during the initial three to four years against tooth decay. If you would like peace of mind when it comes to your child’s dental health, we invite you to call our dental office to see if dental sealants are right for them! We can be reached at 540-657-0867.