Regular brushing and flossing help children maintain healthy smiles, but cavities and decay can still happen. If your child suffers from tooth decay, dental sealants are a vital treatment to assist in the fight against tooth decay.
At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to help your child keep their teeth healthy and strong, and free from cavities. If you are searching for a Phoenix pediatric dentist, pediatric dentist Tempe, or pediatric dentist Chandler, AZ, we want to help. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form.
Dental sealants are a safe, effective way to help protect kids’ teeth from cavities. They are a thin layer of protective coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars. This coating helps prevent food particles and plaque buildup in between the crevices and ridges of the molars that are hard to clean with regular tooth brushing.
Dental sealants are a quick and painless procedure that takes just one dental visit. First, the dentist will briefly clean the tooth surface and dry it before placing a tiny amount of etching solution onto it to “rough up” the tooth for better adhesion.
Then, a thin layer of sealant is painted onto the treated area to completely cover any pits or grooves in each tooth. The sealant is then dried with an ultraviolet blue light. There is no need for freezing or drilling to apply dental sealant treatments, making them simple yet highly effective at protecting our children’s teeth from damage.
Dental sealants have many benefits for children’s oral health.
🍎Reduce the risk of tooth decay by up to 80 percent
🍎Last up to 10 years with proper care and regular checkups
🍎Allow kids to maintain normal eating and brushing habits
🍎A safe, non-invasive procedure with no discomfort
If your child is at risk for tooth decay, a dentist may recommend dental sealants. Children with deep grooves or pits in their molars and children who have had cavities before or have thin tooth enamel (enamel hypoplasia) due to genetics may require dental sealants.
Children who are ‘mouth breathers’ may benefit from dental sealants. Saliva offers important protection against cavity-causing bacteria, but mouth breathing can dry out saliva and increase the risk of tooth decay.
It may be beneficial for parents of special needs children to inquire about sealants as these children are at a higher risk of dental health issues. Sealants have been shown to provide preventative measures against some of these problems.
Generally speaking, we recommend that children between the ages of 6 and 14 receive dental sealants as soon as their first permanent molars appear. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), this typically occurs around age 6 for the first molars and age 12 for the second molars. In some cases, however, your dentist might suggest applying sealants over baby teeth if their surfaces have deep grooves or pitted areas that could benefit from protection.
Fluoride treatments are a critical component of oral hygiene, helping to protect teeth from cavities and strengthen enamel. However, many parents mistakenly believe these treatments are enough to keep their child’s teeth healthy when they should pair them with dental sealants.
The reason for this lies in how each is designed to work differently on your child’s teeth. Fluoride works to remineralize all surfaces of the enamel, while dental sealants alter the anatomy of the teeth by sealing deep grooves, which makes them less likely to retain plaque and food particles over time. By combining both, parents can give their children a better chance at avoiding tooth decay and cavities, as both are necessary to maintain a strong set of pearly whites.
While there is very minimal risk associated with dental sealant treatments, it is important to keep the following points in mind.
At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, we know that being a parent is hard work. And one of the most important things you can do for your child is ensuring their oral health is taken care of. Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to help protect your child’s teeth from cavities and decay and should be considered if your dentist believes it is necessary for their dental health.
Remember that regular brushing, flossing, and fluoride treatments are important components of oral hygiene. Together, they will go a long way in helping your child maintain a healthy smile and reduce the risk of cavities. If you are searching for Phoenix pediatric dentist, pediatric dentist Tempe or pediatric dentist Chandler, AZ, we want to help. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form.
It’s best to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods to prevent damaging or cracking dental sealants. After receiving sealant treatment, avoid hard foods such as ice, jawbreakers, and other hard candies.
With proper oral care, dental sealants can last up to 10 years. The sealants will not require removal. Rather, they will naturally deteriorate over time until the dentist deems replacement necessary.
Applying dental sealants to a tooth can help reduce sensitivity by creating an extra layer to protect against acids and extreme temperatures.
After the sealant is applied to your tooth, you may feel that your bite is different or unusual due to the addition of the extra layer on the tooth. After a few days, the strange feeling will go away as you get used to it.
Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of sealants. Sealants may be covered in full or partial, depending on your policy, so it is important to check with your insurer to find out what kind of coverage you have. Some insurers will require prior authorization before they can cover the treatment.