Dental sealants are preventative dental treatments that are commonly used in children or for those who struggle to maintain an oral health routine. They are applied to the chewing surface of molars and are used to seal the various pits and fissures to prevent bacteria from getting trapt in this highly textured area. As a result, dental sealants significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Did You Know?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research notes that 1 out of 3 children ages 6-12 years currently use dental sealants as a way of preventing tooth decay.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for dental sealants?
Dental sealants are ideal for children or individuals who struggle with maintaining a regular oral health routine. They can be applied to children’s molars as early as age six. However, dental sealants only reduce the risk of tooth decay and should still be accompanied by daily brushing and flossing. To determine if your child is an ideal candidate for dental sealants, schedule a consultation with your Lakewood Ranch dentist today.
Will dental sealants change the look or feel of my child’s teeth?
Dental sealants can be either clear, white, or matched to the specific color of your child’s teeth, meaning that they will not change the look of their teeth. Your child may be able to feel the sealant with their tongue, however it should not cause any changes with their bite or ability to chew.
What should my child expect when having a dental sealant placed?
Before your child’s dental sealant can be placed, they will need to have a dental cleaning to remove any plaque and bacteria from the surface of their teeth. This is necessary to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped underneath the sealant against the tooth. Once the cleaning is complete, the teeth will be isolated from the mouth and dried. Then, the sealant will be applied to the chewing surface of the molar before being hardened to the surface of the tooth with a special curing light. The entire procedure is quick and painless.
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants can be left on the teeth for up to nine years. However, they are the most effective in the first four years of application. In fact, the American Dental Association notes that in the first two years dental sealants prevent about 80% of cavities, while year three and four protect against 50% of cavities. After four years, however, the effectiveness of dental sealants begins to decrease with each passing year. For this reason, it is important to attend regular dental appointments so your dentist can identify when the sealant needs to be replaced. It is also important to realize that dental sealants cannot prevent all cavities and proper oral hygiene still needs to be practiced.