May 30, 2019
The idea of your child getting cavities can be frightening, and unfortunately, it’s one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in the US. The good news is that your pediatric dentist in Birmingham has multiple ways to help protect your little one’s teeth. You’ve likely heard about the benefits of routine cleanings and teaching good brushing habits, but there’s one possible cavity-prevention treatment that may be new to you: dental sealants. Here’s what they are and how they can help save your child’s smile for tomorrow.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Did you know that 88% of all cavities develop in the back of the mouth? Those teeth have grooves and depressions on the chewing surface that make it extremely easy for food and bacteria to get stuck; they’re usually the hardest teeth to keep clean.
A dental sealant is a thin coating of a special resin applied to the grooves in the back teeth, thus helping to prevent bacteria and food from accumulating in those areas. During the procedure, the teeth are cleaned, dried, and coated with a special gel; after the gel dries, the teeth are brushed with the sealant resin, which then sets.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
There are many reasons why sealants are considered an effective way to protect children from cavities:
- They provide protection in hard-to-brush areas. This is especially helpful for children who are still learning and developing good brushing techniques.
- The procedure is fast and painless; no changes to the structure of the tooth are required.
- The sealants can match the color of the tooth, so they’re not typically noticeable while talking or smiling.
- The sealants can last about 5 to 10 years.
When Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?
Sealants are usually applied when your child’s permanent molars come in, which should be between the ages of 6 and 12. It’d be best to have the procedure done as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that while sealants can provide extra protection against cavities, they only work when combined with other good oral hygiene habits. Be sure that your children are having their teeth brushed and flossed at least twice a day, and make sure to continue visiting the dentist for regular cleanings. Take every step to ensure your child grows up with the beautiful smile they deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica R. Rohner is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. She provides quality care for children and offers a variety of services, including dental sealants and fluoride treatments, to help prevent cavities. She is also KultureCity Inclusive Certified to provide accommodations for patients with special needs. To make an appointment for your child at her practice, Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry, visit her website or call (205) 870-0892.
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