Should My Child Get a Dental Sealant Treatment?

Dental SealantMany parents call our clinic asking if their child should get dental sealants. To answer this question properly, we need to examine the child and look at the condition and shape of their teeth. In the meantime, it helps to understand what sealants are and why we use them.

What is sealant?

In the world of dentistry, dental sealants refer to a clear plastic-like substance that we brush onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Much like the name suggests, the dental sealant will seal the teeth. By placing this protective barrier on the surface of the teeth, it ensures that nothing touches the teeth directly.

Getting dental sealant is highly beneficial because it ensures that when a child eats, the food that they chew does not come in contact with this portion of the tooth. Plaque cannot build here either. The sealant greatly reduces the likelihood of a child suffering from dental decay in this portion of the tooth.

Who benefits from this treatment?

Most parents assume that any child could benefit from the sealant. In theory, this would be true except that sealant does not work well for everyone. Since the sealant needs something to adhere to, deep ridges are a necessary component for the sealant. If there are deep ridges on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, then we can apply the sealant and it will remain securely in place.

However, if the chewing surfaces of the teeth are smoother, the sealant may not have enough to grip onto and become loose. If the sealant becomes loose, a portion of the sealant can come off and create an area that traps plaque. Thus, it is important to conduct a thorough examination before determining if the dental sealant can help a particular child.

The process

If dental sealants are an effective treatment for the child, then we can place them quickly. After conducting a teeth cleaning, we can brush sealant onto a child's teeth, taking only a couple of minutes per tooth. We are essentially painting the sealant on, so the process is fast and easy. There is no smell, no discomfort and no irritation, so the sealant is not bothersome to a child in any way.

In fact, the child may not even notice what is happening. This makes dental sealants ideal for young children who may have the wiggles or have difficulty sitting in a dental chair for long.

Regular examinations will be important

Once dental sealants have been placed, we will need to continue examining the child on an annual or biannual basis to ensure that they remain secure. If they need to replace it is important for us to identify this quickly. That allows us to do the best job of keeping their teeth healthy and free from decay.

Also, it is important to note that dental sealants do not replace the need to brush teeth regularly and thoroughly. A good oral hygiene routine at home is still going to be necessary for preventing tooth decay and dental infections.

Schedule an examination

The best way to determine if dental sealants would work for your child is to call our office and schedule an examination today.

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