A dental sealant is a helpful tool for many dental patients. Sealants keep teeth from getting cavities, and they can be especially beneficial for children, who often have the greatest risk of decay.
But what is a sealant exactly? Is it really a great idea for your child? Here's what your dentist wants you to know.
What Is Dental Sealant?
A sealant is a thin coating applied to the surface of the tooth that acts as a barrier against food particles, bacteria, acid, and plaque. The application process is quick and painless. After the surface of the teeth is cleaned, a liquid or gel is applied to the teeth.
Then, a plastic resin sealant is placed over the liquid or gel and quickly hardened by exposure to intense light. This forms a protective barrier that covers all areas of tooth decay risk.
Which Teeth Can You Use Sealant On?
Sealants can be used on all teeth, but they're most often placed on the back molars since they are the most difficult for children to clean.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealant for Children?
Sealants are beneficial for children because they protect the teeth from decay and cavities. Sealants can last years with proper care, so they're a great way to protect your child's teeth for a long time. Sealants are also a cost-effective way to protect your child's teeth from decay.
Are there Downsides to Dental Sealant?
Sealants do not replace regular brushing and flossing. The sealant acts as a barrier, but it doesn't completely prevent decay. So, it's still important to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine and visits to the dentist.
How Can You Maintain Dental Sealant?
It's important to maintain the sealants on your child's teeth. Make sure your child brushes and flosses their teeth regularly. It's also important to visit the dentist for check-ups regularly. Sealants can wear down with time, so it's important to have them reapplied.
Is Dental Sealant Right for Your Child?
If your child is at risk of tooth decay, or if they have a history of cavities, talk to your dentist about dental sealant. Your dentist can assess your child's teeth and decide if sealants are a good fit.
If you have questions about dental sealant and your child, now is a great time to talk to a dentist. You may save your child some discomfort and yourself some dental bills by doing so.