Dental sealants are thin plastic coats that are applied to the biting surfaces of a person's teeth. They can be used on any tooth, but they are mostly used on the premolars and molars because these are the most susceptible to tooth decay. When applied, the sealant adheres to the pits and grooves on the…
Should You Consider Dental Sealant for Kids?
A dental sealant for kids is ideal for maintaining your child’s healthy teeth. It is not enough to teach your child proper dental care. Seeing your dentist for routine dental cleaning is necessary as well. This is when you will know if your child needs this treatment.
The essentials of dental sealants
These are plastic coatings that cover the exposed crowns. The dentist paints the sealant on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Doing so prevents bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the pits and grooves. But a dental sealant for kids is not a substitute for daily flossing and brushing. Good oral care can also keep the teeth healthy and cavity-free.
The extra protective layer can make dental cleaning easier. This can stop the process of cavity formation. The clear sealant allows the patient and dentist to see what is happening to the treated teeth. Proper care and maintenance can help a dental sealant for kids last for about 10 years. But the dentist can suggest an earlier replacement if it is necessary.
The reason for getting a dental sealant for kids
Preventing cavities can remove the need for future expensive treatments like crowns and fillings. Studies show that a dental sealant for kids can prevent about 80% of the cavity formation in permanent molars. Kids without these sealants tend to be more prone to molar cavities than children who have them. Even so, this treatment is not for all kids.
A rare side effect of having dental sealants is an allergic reaction. If the child has any issues about getting this treatment, talking to the dentist is important. The dentist can answer any questions about this non-invasive treatment. Parents will know if sealants are the right option for their child.
The right age for a dental sealant for kids
Children can avoid dental fillings by getting sealants between six and 14 years old. This age range is when the permanent teeth erupt. Parents also find it more challenging to control their child’s dental care and diet. Getting a dental sealant for kids must happen as soon as the permanent premolars and molars emerge from the gumline.
Research shows that the first molars erupt at age six. The second molars emerge by 12 years of age. That is why it is ideal for kids to get this treatment as soon as possible. Sealing teeth can prevent dental decay. Some dentists recommend dental sealants for baby teeth to accomplish a cavity-free mouth.
The dentist will clean and dry the tooth first and then will roughen the tooth surface with an acidic solution or gel. This will make it easier for the dental sealant to stick to the tooth. The dentist will then rinse the tooth and dry it. Applying the dental sealant will come next. Exposing the tooth to a curing blue light will harden it.
Signs that a dental sealant for kids is necessary
Preventing cavity formation is the priority of every dentist. That is why the dentist will suggest dental sealants even on baby teeth. For kids who did not have these sealants early, there are some signs to look out for. Here are some of the signs that tell the need for a dental sealant for kids:
- Excessive decay in the child’s baby teeth
- Narrow fissures and grooves on new permanent molars
- Special needs children
- Staining in the fissures and grooves
- Decay in the permanent molars
In some cases, a dental sealant for kids may not be necessary if decay prevention is possible through fluoride, tooth brushing, and diet. Considering the child’s eating habits and dental care practices is important. If the parent and dentist are not satisfied with the child’s dental health, the child must get sealants. This treatment can help maintain the child’s good dental health.
Dental sealants for kids and cavities
This treatment can prevent cavity-causing elements from affecting teeth. That is why some dentists may recommend sealants to stop the cavities that the child already has. Food particles and bacteria cannot reach the teeth anymore with this protective shield in place. Applying the sealant over cavities will require a higher skill level. Studies show that a dental sealant for kids can treat early signs of cavities.
Types of dental sealants
The dentist can recommend dental sealants even for baby teeth. The goal is to protect the teeth from early decay. Discussing the types of dental sealants can help familiarize the parents with their features. Here are some of them:
- Glass ionomer sealants have fluoride. It can prevent or even reverse dental decay.
- Resin-based sealants can stick longer to teeth. The tooth must be dry before applying it.
- Other dental sealants for kids are resin-modified GI sealants and polyacid-modified resin sealants.
Your dentist will determine if a dental sealant for kids is necessary
Cavities can cause many problems in your child’s mouth. Preventing this condition must start at an early age. Apart from proper daily dental care, seeing the dentist for routine checkups is also crucial for your child’s dental health. These appointments can help detect the signs your child should get a dental sealant for kids. Working with your dentist can make your child’s sealants last for a long time.
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