You may be advised to have your child’s teeth sealed by their dentist during their next dental appointment. Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay from developing on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. To make an informed decision, it is important to understand whether a dental procedure will affect your child’s oral health.
Why Get Sealants?
The use of sealants prevents tooth decay. Sealants are applied to the back teeth, which are particularly susceptible to decay. Sealants are frequently recommended by our dentists for children and teens, but they may also be beneficial for adults.
Located in the back of your mouth, your molars develop deep grooves on their chewing surfaces, making it difficult to keep them clean. Sealants prevent 80% of decay during the first two years following their application. Approximately half of all decay can be prevented after four years following sealant application. The risk of tooth decay for a child without sealants is three times higher than that of a child with sealants.
At what age should sealants be applied?
The first set of molars usually appears around the age of six, and the second set appears around the age of 12. Generally, sealants are most effective when they are applied just after the molars have broken through the gum line. The best time to apply sealants will be determined by your dentist during your regular dental examination.
What Should I Expect?
The use of sealants is one of the most common procedures we perform at our office. There is rarely any discomfort associated with this process. Your child’s teeth will be treated with a special gel after they have been thoroughly cleaned. After the gel has been removed, a sealant will be applied. With the aid of a small blue curing light, the sealant hardens in a matter of seconds.
What Concerns Should I Have?
Sealants do not have any side effects, and allergic reactions are extremely rare when they are utilized. If your child has allergies, you should let your doctor know so that they can determine the best course of action.
When applied and maintained properly, a sealant will last for years before it needs to be replaced. To preserve the integrity of your sealants and teeth, you should visit your dental office regularly. If your child had sealants many years ago and you are not sure whether they should be replaced, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist.