As a parent, you want your child to have the healthiest smile possible. One way to help protect their teeth from decay is with the help of dental sealants. Sealants are protective treatments that can statistically lower a child’s risk of cavities by making their smile easier to clean with a toothbrush each day.
What is a Dental Sealant, and How Does it Work?
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where cavities are most likely to form. The sealant fills in the grooves and pits of the teeth, creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the tooth from harmful bacteria that can cause decay.
Why Are Sealants Necessary?
Even with proper brushing and flossing, the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can be difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay. Dental sealants help to protect these areas and can significantly reduce the risk of cavities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants can prevent as many as 80% of cavities in children.
What to Expect from the Procedure and Aftercare
The procedure for applying dental sealants is quick and painless. First, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Then, an etching solution is applied to the teeth to help the sealant bond to the tooth enamel. After a few seconds, the etchant is rinsed off, and the teeth are dried again. The sealant is then applied and hardened with a special light.
After the procedure, your child may feel like their bite is slightly “off” for a few days. It’s important for your child to continue to brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene. Sealants do not protect the spaces between teeth, so flossing each day is always a must.
What are the Different Types of Dental Sealants for Kids?
There are two main types of dental sealants: resin-based sealants and glass ionomer sealants. Resin-based sealants are the most commonly used and are made of a plastic material that’s applied to the teeth. Glass ionomer sealants are made of a special type of material that releases fluoride over time.
Our pediatric dentist in Vista will recommend the best type of sealant for your child based on their individual needs and oral health history.
Can Dentists or Hygienists Apply Dental Sealants For Children?
Both dentists and dental hygienists are trained to apply dental sealants. In many cases, dental hygienists will perform the procedure during your child’s checkup. It is important to choose a dental practice that has experience in treating children and can provide a comfortable and positive experience for your child.
Do Sealants Help Save Money?
By preventing cavities, sealants can help reduce the need for more extensive and expensive dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, or even extractions. Additionally, many insurance plans cover the cost of dental sealants for children up to about age 14 or so, depending on your plan.
A Smart Investment for Your Child’s Smile
Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to protect your child’s teeth from future tooth decay. By filling in the grooves and pits of the teeth, sealants act as a barrier, making teeth easier to clean, and preventing harmful bacteria from causing cavities, sealants definitely earn their keep. The procedure is quick and painless, and the benefits can last for several years. Our pediatric dentist specializes in treating children and can help ensure that your child has a positive and comfortable experience.
At All Smiles Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Houri and her team are dedicated to providing high-quality, personalized care for children of all ages. We understand that visiting the dentist can be stressful for children and we strive to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. To learn more about our dental sealants in Vista, CA, call us today!