Dental Sealants 101

Your child may be a champion at brushing and flossing, yet even the most diligent brushers and preventative dental care enthusiasts have a hard time reaching all of the grooves and crevices of those back teeth. An affordable and painless cavity prevention tool for kids is dental sealants.

What is a Dental Sealant?
Dental sealants are simply a plastic shield or coating placed on the back teeth or molars. These have irregular, hard to clean grooves. Sealants are an easy line of protection that shields the teeth from plaque, bacteria and tooth decay.
What Should My Child Expect?
Getting dental sealants is a quick and painless procedure. There is no need to use anesthesia or drills. Your dentist will first clean and dry the molars. Next, a mild acid is used to roughen the tooth’s surface so that the sealant adheres effectively. Finally, the sealant is applied to each tooth surface and allowed to dry under a special light. Rest assured that sealants are completely transparent so the appearance and function of your child’s smile remains 100% natural under this protective layer.
When should my child get sealants?
Dental sealants work best for permanent molars. Typically a child’s first molars emerge at the age of 6 and permanent molars tend to erupt between the ages of 10 and 12. Call your dentist for dental sealants as soon as you see those permanent molars appear.
How long will the sealants last?
Dental sealants should last from 5 to 10 years, depending on your child’s level of oral care. If your dentist sees that your child’s sealants are wearing down, the sealant can easily be reapplied.

Park South Dentistry is committed to helping patients of all ages achieve optimal oral health. Dental sealants are an excellent way to help children get the cavity prevention they need as they learn the proper brushing and flossing techniques. Keep in mind that while dental sealants are an effective line of protection, they are not intended to be the only line of protection. Teaching your child to brush and floss twice a day is essential to a healthy smile!

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