Try to feel your molars, the teeth all the way in the back of your mouth, with your tongue. Do you feel those little nooks and crannies? Food and bacteria love to settle down nice and snug in there, getting to work on destroying your enamel and making way for decay to set in.
Little teeth, which often don't get brushed properly, are especially vulnerable to these attacks. But, just like a shield can protect you in battle, sealants can protect your teeth from bacterial assault.
Think of dental sealants as a protective barrier, guarding your tooth enamel against decay-causing bacteria. They are made from a thin, plastic-like coating that smoothes out the grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Pediatric dentists generally apply them to primary and permanent molars soon after they’ve come in.
Studies show that sealants can reduce the risk of decay on permanent molars by 80%. They continue to shield your child’s teeth for several years after your pediatric dentist applies them. A sealant can actually last up to 5 to 10 years! Sealants, coupled with good brushing, flossing and nutrition habits and regular visits to your pediatric dentist will ensure that your child develops a healthy smile.
The process of applying sealants is an easy and painless one. Basically, the dentist will paint the sealants onto your child’s clean, dry teeth, and then just harden them with a special light. And that's it! You're done! The sealants are white, and therefore virtually unseen. Your child can eat and drink immediately after their appointment, too, so you can reward their good behavior with a treat!
Sealants are a procedure covered by most dental insurance plans, so you can talk to your provider about them. If you don't have insurance, you can also talk to us about a payment plan. Treatment is generally pretty affordable, especially when you consider how excellent sealants are at protecting against cavities.
Although children of every age can benefit with sealants, dental professionals recommend getting them done as early as possible. Protect your child's oral health. Save them with sealants!