Could Dental Sealant Save Your Children's Teeth?

Posted on: 20 February 2015

Not every child can get through each dental cleaning and exam without the dentist finding a cavity or two. The shape of the child's teeth, the foods and drinks that he or she consumes, and the amount of saliva that is produced all play a role in tooth decay, so your child just might be more prone to cavities than others. If your child seems to have a cavity or two at each dental cleaning, it is time to consider learning about dental sealant.

What is dental sealant?

Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to children's teeth. It is commonly used to seal teeth with deep grooves and pits to make it easier to keep those teeth clean and free of decay.

How does dental sealant work?

Dental sealant comes in liquid form and is painted onto the teeth. Shortly after applied, the liquid hardens into a plastic shell that prevents food, acid, plaque and bacteria from attacking the teeth. It will effectively protect those hard-to-reach areas of the teeth and keep them healthy.

When can dental sealant be applied?

Dental sealant can be applied at any age. If your dentist has found cavities in your toddler's teeth, there is good reason to consider having the sealant applied immediately. But toddlers are not the only children that should be considered for sealants. As children grow into teenagers, they begin to grow their adult molars. These molars must be protected from decay. If your child has had several cavities filled during childhood, strongly consider having dental sealants applied to his or her molars so that they will be less likely to decay.

How is dental sealant applied to small children?

Very young children may need to be sedated to complete the procedure because it can take longer than a small child can handle to complete. The day of the procedure, your child's teeth will be thoroughly cleaned, dried and coated with the sealant. If your child does well with regular dental cleanings, he or she may do well with the sealant application. Sedation is only needed if your child cannot sit in the dentist's chair and cooperate.

Does dental sealant need to be reapplied?

Dental sealant can last several years. In most cases, the sealants on baby teeth will not need to be reapplied. The teeth will fall out long before the sealant needs reapplied. For adult teeth, there may be a need for reapplication several years after applied. Reapplication is painless and can be done quickly. The dentist will simply remove any remaining sealant, clean and dry the teeth and apply a fresh coating.

Talk with your dentist to learn more about dental sealant. It can help prevent a lot of decay and save your children's teeth. For more information, contact Medin Family Dental or a similar location.