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What Are Dental Sealants and Does My Child Need Them?

July 12, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — rowlettdentalkidsteam @ 4:34 pm

three smiling boysWhat is the most common childhood disease? Is it asthma? Hay fever? In fact, dental caries — otherwise known as cavities — are several times more common than either of those conditions. One study by the Centers for Disease Control found that 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have experienced cavities in their baby teeth. More than 20 percent of children in the same age range have had cavities in their permanent teeth. If you want to stop your children from ending up on the wrong side of the statistics, you might want to consider heading to your dentist so your little ones can receive dental sealants in Rowlett.

What Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic that a dentist applies to the chewing surface of a tooth. It creates a barrier between the tooth and food particles and other substances that might otherwise settle on the enamel and contribute to decay.

Dental sealants are durable; they’re able to stand up to too your kids’ favorite snacks. Their exact lifespan is difficult to predict, but your children’s dentist in Rowlett will inspect the sealants twice a year when your family goes in for their regular cleanings. Your care provider might recommend that the sealants be repaired or replaced from time to time.

What Is the Process for Applying Dental Sealants?

You can assure your little ones that there is nothing to be afraid of when they’re receiving dental sealants. The process is quick and painless. Here is how it works:

  • Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean the teeth that are going to receive the sealants.
  • Each tooth is dried and kept dry by an absorbent material.
  • A mild acid solution roughens up the surface of each tooth. This helps the sealant bond to the enamel.
  • Your dental professional paints the sealant on.

The sealant doesn’t take long to harden, so your child can enjoy food and drink immediately after their visit to the dentist.

Who Should Receive Dental Sealants?

If your child’s oral health habits aren’t yet well-established, sealants could play a vital role in preventing tooth decay. However, your dentist might recommend that your child receive sealants even if your little one is diligent about brushing and flossing. The sealant will provide another layer of protection that will help preserve your kid’s smile for a lifetime.

Sealants can be especially important for molars that have deep grooves that are difficult to clean out with regular brushing and flossing.

Although it is less common for adults to receive sealants, that doesn’t mean grown-ups can’t have this treatment. If you have decay or fillings in your back teeth, you can ask your dentist if sealants are right for you.

Dental sealants can protect your child’s smile and oral health. Why not talk to your dentist about them next time you take your little one in for a checkup?

About the Author

Dr. Tera Pollock is a pediatric dentist in Rowlett with decades of experience in caring for precious little smiles. If you think your child could benefit from dental sealants, contact Rowlett Dental Kids via the website or by phone at 972-475-0301.

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