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Understanding Dental Sealants for Children

Happy young girl smiling at the dentist.

Your teeth are essential for your overall health, so proper dental care is essential. Enamel acts as a barrier to protect your teeth. If the enamel wears down, teeth may appear yellow, become more rugged and irregular, and more prone to cracking and chipping.

If you're going to help protect your child's teeth, it may be good to consider dental sealants. Sealants are an excellent option for parents who want to preserve the longevity of their child's teeth and encourage better oral health overall. Here at The Children's Dental Center, we want to provide parents with proper education to help them make the best dental decisions for their children.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Brushing and flossing regularly is undoubtedly the best way to protect your oral health. But even with a proper regimen, it isn't always easy to get every nook and cranny of your teeth.

Dental sealants are a safety net to support your child's oral hygiene regimen. A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating that acts as a barrier for the chewing surface of your teeth.

Sealants are made from plastic or other dental materials and seamlessly adhere to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. While you can't substitute brushing or flossing, dental sealants are an excellent way to help prevent cavities from forming.

We all have cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths. When these bacteria meet with food particles, acid is produced. With a dental sealant, your child will be able to keep their teeth and prevent bacteria and acid from settling on their teeth.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Dentist working on child’s teeth

Dental sealants offer a variety of benefits for children. For starters, dental sealants are one of the most effective options for protecting against plaque and bacteria. Children can better achieve a happier smile and optimal oral health thanks to its protective barrier.

Another benefit of dental sealants is that the application is pain-free. Many children have anxiety about going to the dentist for dental procedures, but dental sealants shouldn't be bothersome.

Dental sealants are also long-lasting. Sealants typically last between five and ten years. A dentist will check on the condition of your child's sealants during their routine checkup and touch up as needed.

Another advantage is that dental sealants are low-maintenance and easy to repair. If your child's sealants become worn or chipped, reapplying the sealant in the dentist's office is quick and easy.

Dental sealants are also relatively inexpensive, another benefit that many parents love. When compared to other restorative procedures, this procedure is more affordable. In addition to this, many insurance companies cover the costs of sealants on permanent teeth, which means that you may not have to pay anything at all.

Lastly, dental sealants support your child's oral care regimen. With a proper brushing and flossing routine, your child can effectively minimize the risk of cavities by incorporating dental sealants.

Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants?

One of the most significant concerns for parents is whether their child should have dental sealants. While this can be hard for parents to gauge, parents should consider investing in sealants for their children.

According to the ADA, a child's first molars typically breakthrough at 6. Your child's second molars will erupt around the age of 12. In particular, it is recommended that children between the ages of 6 and 14 years receive dental sealants to protect their teeth.

Dentists generally recommend sealing your child's teeth as soon as the molars come in. This will help protect the teeth from tooth decay.

What If Your Child Already Has Cavities?

If your child already has cavities, it may still be possible to get dental sealants. Children who present early decay can still get this procedure done.

A sealant is often used to prevent further damage to the tooth. Even better is that some sealants are clear, which means that the dentist can still keep an eye out for the decayed tooth.

Is There BPA in Sealants?

BPA is a chemical compound that is mainly used in plastic products. Many parents are on the fence about getting dental sealants because it has BPA inside them. The good news is that the amount of BPA inside dental sealants is minimal.

It is not enough BPA to cause your child any harm. There is more BPA in other things, such as a receipt, dust, and cosmetic products.

Strategies to Prevent Cavities in Children

It's important to remember that dental sealants are not a replacement for an oral care routine. Parents should help their children implement best practices to prevent cavities and protect their teeth. Some strategies include:

  • Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste

  • Using floss at least once a day

  • Ensuring that your child receives regular dental checkups

  • Encouraging your child to swap sugary snacks for healthier food choices

Invest in Dental Sealants for Your Child

Here at The Children's Dental Center, we pride ourselves on helping children reach optimal oral health. If you're concerned about your child getting cavities and having already received their molars, it's an excellent time to consider dental sealants.

If you have any questions about dental sealant services for your child in Coralville, IA, contact us today.

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