Pediatric Dental Sealants
A Simple Way to Fight Tooth Decay
Does it feel like pulling teeth to get your child to brush and floss every day? Instilling good hygiene in your little one can often be a struggle, but you don't have to fight this battle alone! ABC Kids Dental Group dentists can help you win the war on tooth decay simply by applying a protective barrier, or "sealant", to the surface of your child's teeth.
Invisible yet effective, this just might be the secret weapon you've been looking for.
Why Dental Sealant May Be Necessary
Teaching your child to brush and floss properly (and regularly) can take some time, but it doesn't take long for harmful plaque and bacteria to damage teeth. Because baby teeth play a critical role in the alignment of permanent teeth, speech development and proper chewing skills, keeping them free of decay is critical.
At ABC Kids Dental Group, our experienced dentists will recommend dental sealant as a safeguard for the back teeth — particularly the molars, since they are primarily used for chewing and tend to have a deeply pitted and grooved surface. Front teeth tend to be smoother and may not need sealant at all, but it may still be recommended depending on your child's oral health and hygiene.
Where Are Dental Sealants Placed?
Sealants are a type preventive treatment that are usually placed on permanent molars but can also be placed on some baby teeth that are in danger of getting cavities. Sealants are a great way of protecting hard to reach teeth that are not always brushed properly. Since these teeth are particularly involved in chewing, they are the ones that get exposed to food and bacteria on a constant basis.
When to Seek Treatment and See if Your Child will Benefit from Dental Sealants?
Sealant can be applied at any time, but for maximum benefit, the experienced dentists at ABC Kids Dental Group for it the moment your child's back teeth have fully erupted, around age 6. Chipping and other forms of wear and tear are normal, so expect the need for reapplication every few years. Their second set molars erupts around age 12 and these too need to be protected by dental sealants.
As baby teeth fall out, don't forget to ask our dentist about applying sealant to his or her new set of teeth as well. While treating baby teeth with dental sealant is a fairly new trend, coating permanent teeth with this protective barrier is a common practice to help prevent tooth decay.
Why Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants?
Since molars are all the way in the back of the mouth, young children often neglect brushing them. These teeth are particularly prone to cavities because they come into contact with food the most and have nooks and crannies, where bacteria can hide. Often it is impossible to thoroughly clean these surfaces with a regular toothbrush. Over time, the combination of food and bacteria can cause the decay of the tooth. Fortunately, sealants can help.
How Dental Sealants Are Applied?
The process for applying dental sealant is fairly quick and usually requires only a few minutes to complete. A standard cleaning is necessary to prepare the teeth, followed by a thorough drying of each tooth with the help of gauze or other absorbent material. Next, an acid solution is applied by our dentists, which will help the sealant bond to the tooth's surface. After a round of rinsing and drying, the dental sealant is then applied onto the surface of the tooth. The final step is to harden the sealant with a curing light.
What Are the Benefits Of Dental Sealants?
The application of dental sealants is painless, done in minutes, and can give the teeth up to 10 years of protection, which makes it an ideal procedure for preserving your child’s permanent teeth. For the most part, sealants are colorless or slightly tinted to match the patient’s natural tooth color therefore it is not easily seen when the patient smiles, talks, or laughs.
Other Ways to Combat Tooth Decay
Our dentists at ABC Kids Dental Group will often tell patients, that as easy and effective as it is, dental sealant is but one form of preventative care, and only protects the more accessible surface your child's teeth. Even with sealants, it is possible that your child may still get tooth decay, especially between teeth where the sealant cannot be placed. Staying on top of your child's dental regimen and diet is still the best way to stop tooth decay before it starts, especially in areas between the teeth that can only be reached by flossing.
Do Sealants Have to Be Redone?
Often times, the chewing surfaces of molars are worn away and the sealants have to be replaced. Brushing properly can help preserve the sealants for a longer period of time. However, sealants are typically reapplied once every three years.
Are There Any Risks to Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin coating that is painted on teeth to protect them from cavities. Sealants are safe and effective and have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars, which are most prone to cavities.
Call us at 833-i-ABC-Kid (833-522-2543) to find out if your child may benefit from a dental sealant or visit one of our offices today! We currently have office locations in Pacoima, Sun Valley and Granada Hills.