There are many tools and treatments available to clean and protect teeth. Dental sealants can be used on patients of all ages, but are especially helpful for and most commonly used on children.
What Are Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Typically, sealants are applied to your premolars and molars, the bigger teeth in the back, to prevent tooth decay.
We apply the liquid sealant to your teeth, then after it penetrates the grooves of your teeth, we use a special light to quickly harden it. In the end, you are left with a protective coating that acts as a shield over the enamel of your teeth.
Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?
While dental sealants aren’t absolutely necessary, they are highly recommended for children. Children and teenagers ages 6 to 14 are great candidates for sealants because they have a much greater likelihood of developing tooth decay in the grooves and depressions of their premolars and molars.
At Smiles by Dr. Chai, we recommend that children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as those teeth come in. That way, their teeth are better protected during the time of their lives when they are most prone to cavities. In some cases, sealants are used on baby teeth with significant depressions and grooves, to prevent those teeth from being lost too early.
Applying Dental Sealants: What to Expect
Dental sealants are applied during a simple, pain-free process that takes just a few minutes for each tooth. At our practice, one of our expert team members will apply the sealants as follows:
- Your teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried and a material such as cotton is placed around the tooth to keep it dry during the treatment.
- We then apply a solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth so that the sealant effectively bonds to them.
- Your teeth are rinsed and dried again.
- We apply the sealant by painting it onto each tooth, where it bonds to your enamel and hardens. We “cure” the sealant and help it harden.
Call Today to Learn More
If you are still unsure about whether dental sealants are right for you or your child, give us a call. Sealants are just one of the many tools we offer to maintain the health of your teeth.
With children, especially young kids, it can be hard to remove all the food and plaque that gets stuck in the nooks and crannies of their little teeth. Even with proper brushing and flossing, there is debris that can get left behind. Sealants help protect those vulnerable areas by acting as another protective barrier.