Dental Tips |3 min read

What Are Sealants?

Dental professional and young child applying dental sealants.

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities – but we know it’s not easy to clean every part of your teeth.

This is especially true when it comes to your little ones.

Your child’s teeth are especially vulnerable to cavities based on their diet and oral health hygiene habits.

So, it’s important to protect their teeth when you can with sealants.

You may be wondering:

“What are sealants?”

In this quick blog, you’ll learn:

  • What dental sealants are
  • If they work to protect teeth
  • How to take care of them

Let’s get started.

What are sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating that your dentist puts on the grooves of your child’s back teeth to protect them.

Your back teeth, AKA molars, are what you use to chew food. They’re rough and uneven – great for leftover foods and bacteria to hide in.

The tiny grooves are called “pits and fissures,” which trap bacteria and food particles.

The bristles on your toothbrush can’t always reach into these dark, moist tiny crevices.

Cavities love areas like this!

Adult molars surface in your child’s mouth when they’re about six years old.

What’s more, a child’s newly erupted permanent teeth aren’t as resistant to decay as adult teeth are. The hard enamel coating that protects the teeth changes as it ages to become stronger.

Fluoride can strengthen teeth enamel, but it’s hard to get fluoride into those pits and fissures regularly. It can be found in toothpaste, drinking water, and is an in-office dental treatment.

Do sealants work?

Text: Dental sealants shield, safe, support.

Yes!

A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity, which can require more expensive dental treatment later, and most importantly, cause your child pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)… This text opens a new tab to the CDC website… found that sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against cavities for years to come.

How are sealants placed on my child’s teeth?

Placing sealants on the teeth is a simple and painless procedure your dentist can perform in a few minutes.

Step 1

The tooth or teeth to be sealed are examined, and if any minimal decay is found, it will be gently removed.

The tooth will then be cleaned and dried.

Step 2

A solution that will slightly roughen or “etch” the surface is applied to make the sealing material adhere better.

The tooth is rinsed and dried again.

Step 3

The sealant is then painted on the tooth in liquid form and hardens in about a minute, sometimes with the help of a special curing light.

That’s all there is to it!

How do you take care of dental sealants?

Sealed teeth require the same dental hygiene as unsealed teeth.

Your child should continue to brush, floss, and have regular professional cleanings.

Checking for wear and tear on the sealants is important, though they should last for up to 10 years.

While the incidence of cavities in children remains relatively high, preventing cavities is always better than treating them.

Plus:

It’s also much cheaper. You’ll prevent future costly dental work by protecting your child’s teeth now.

Where can I get dental sealants near me?

Looking for sealants to protect your child’s molars?

We’ve got your back!

Our friendly dental professionals at Neighborhood Dental Care use the latest equipment and techniques to ensure your child enjoys a stress-free visit.

Schedule an appointment now!

Neighborhood Dental Care is located in South Dakota and Eastern Nebraska… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…. We happily welcome patients from all over.

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