Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are vulnerable to decay from the moment they first erupt. Keeping them as clean as possible will help them last until the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Decay in primary teeth can cause permanent teeth to be more vulnerable to decay. You want to avoid anything that may cause your child’s permanent teeth to develop decay.
Permanent molars begin to appear from 5 to 7 years of age. The first to emerge are often called “6-year molars.” These teeth have a top surface that is designed to chew and grind food into small bits. The chewing surface is rough and uneven, full of fissures and grooves where bacteria can hide and cause tooth decay. Even with regular brushing and flossing, it is difficult to keep these areas free from harmful bacteria. Fortunately, sealants can provide the protection these teeth need.
Protect Your Child from Cavities with Teeth Sealants
Dental sealants are a thin protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of the molars. When the teeth are sealed, the incidence of dental decay can be reduced by as much as 80%, as long as proper brushing and flossing are continued.
A 2016 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.” When you consider that these molars will need to last for the entirety of your child’s life, it makes sense to provide all the protection you can against dental decay.
Application of dental sealants is quick and painless. The teeth that need to be sealed are cleaned and dried. Next, a gel is placed on the surface to prepare the tooth so the sealant will adhere to it. After the gel is applied, it is rinsed off and the teeth are dried again. The sealant is then applied to the grooves of the tooth. A special blue light is used to cure the sealant and harden it.
Adding an extra layer of protection to your child’s teeth will help keep those molars in good health for years to come. The Pediatric Dental Team is happy to answer all your questions about dental sealants. Contact us today to book an appointment to protect your child’s teeth.