Children can be very prone to getting cavities. The lack of good brushing and love of sweets certainly does not help. The good news is that cavities can be prevented or minimized by applying dental sealants to their teeth. This treatment is available from the dentist.
Sealants provide a protective thin layer on top of the main teeth. It is a plastic coating that is impervious to bacteria and acid, and it offers protection for the teeth. This ability prevents cavities for years. It is either clear or white or may have a slight pink tinge to it, depending on the brand.
Not every tooth needs to be sealed. Just those that are most prone to develop cavities, which is the premolars and the molars. These back teeth have nooks and crannies that are more difficult for a toothbrush to remove food and plaque. They are the teeth that are most likely to get a cavity.
While fluoride can help prevent cavities in these teeth, more help is needed. In children, the first set of molars comes in between the ages 5 and 7, and a set of second molars comes in between the ages of 11 and 14. Other teeth that have grooves in them may also benefit.
Before the sealant is to be applied, the dentist will clean the teeth that are to be sealed. The tooth will then be dried. A solution will be put on the chewing surface of the tooth that will help the sealant bond better. After rinsing the tooth and drying it again, the sealant will be brushed on the tooth, which will then harden after a special light is shined on it.
Best Time to Apply
This protective coating provides the best protection for children before they learn how to brush and care for their teeth. Children often miss spots of plaque that can cause cavities. It is recommended that children’s teeth be treated as soon as the teeth come in.
Once the material is applied to the tooth, it can last up to 10 years. When applying it right after the tooth comes in, it means that your child’s tooth will be protected during those years that he or she is most prone to develop cavities – ages 6 – 14.
Although it can be expected to last up to 10 years, it is possible that the protective layer can be damaged. To ensure its continued protection, the dentist is likely to require regular checkups.
A sealant is only going to protect the surface that it is put on. Generally, this is the top or chewing surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to protect the entire tooth – and all of them, so it is still necessary.
The dentists at Global Family Dental can provide you or your children with dental sealants. Our office also provides a full range of dental services to help keep your family’s teeth healthy and looking good.