It can often be difficult to get your child to brush his or her teeth well. However, even if your child doesn’t brush as he or she should, there are still ways that your dentist can help prevent cavities. One of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay is through the application of sealants.
What are sealants?
Sealants are made of a thin resin that is applied to the grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth. Sealants are bonded to the teeth and make the chewing surfaces smoother and, therefore, easier to brush and keep clean. The also act as a physical barrier to plaque, the most common cause of tooth decay.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are applied in several steps. Teeth are first thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before a solution is applied that will help the sealant adhere effectively. The liquid sealant is then applied and hardened with the aid of a special light. This is a virtually painless treatment; no anesthesia is needed.
When should my child have sealants?
Sealants are virtually pain-free and are suitable for children once their first permanent molars have erupted, which is usually around age 6. A second application may be necessary when the second molars erupt at age 12. We will determine the need for sealants based upon the child’s diet, homecare efforts, tooth anatomy and lastly, biocompatibility concerns.