Alpharetta, GA – Has your pediatric dentist recommended dental sealants for your child, but you aren’t sure what the benefit might be? Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polka Dot Dental explains everything you need to know about dental sealants.
First, what exactly are sealants?
“Dental sealants are a clear coat of plastic that is applied to the grooved and pitted surfaces of teeth,” says Dr. Nanna. “The most common place sealants are applied is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where it can be harder for children to properly brush.”
Even for people who pay close attention to their dental hygiene, it’s next to impossible to properly clean out all the grooves and pits of the teeth. And for children who may not always take the time they need while brushing, this can be especially true. Food and bacteria can then build up, leading to decay and cavities.
But with dental sealants, your child’s teeth are protected against plaque and decay. And if properly cared for, they provide a layer of protection for many years.
“It’s very important to apply sealants before the cavity-prone years,” says Dr. Nanna. “It’s quick, and only takes one visit to my office to have the sealant painted on. Your children will feel no discomfort during the process.”
First, the teeth are properly cleaned. Then, the teeth to receive the sealant will be conditioned and dried to ensure the sealant adheres properly. The sealant will then be painted on, and hardened with a special light. It’s quick and easy, and your child can eat and drink right after.
The treatment is affordable, and because of the layer of protection it can offer, many insurance companies will cover sealants in your care plan. Be sure to check with your insurance, as some have age and specific tooth requirements.
The teeth most in need of sealants are the six and twelve year molars, but your dentist may also recommend the permanent premolars and primary molars receive coverage, as well. Any tooth that has grooves or pits can benefit from being sealed.
It’s important that your child remembers that even though his teeth have been sealed, brushing and flossing is still important. Proper dental hygiene, paired with a balanced diet, regular visits to the dentist and dental sealants can ensure your child maintains a healthy, white smile.
Proper brushing and flossing is also important to ensuring your sealant last for many years. Additionally, encourage your children to avoid chewing on hard objects, such as ice, to keep the sealant from cracking. At each check-up, Dr. Nanna and her team will check the sealants and recommend when sealants should be re-applied.
Dr. Nanna recommends that her patients have sealants applied when their molars erupt, to best protect them between the ages of six and 14 when they are most prone to developing cavities. In some cases, if a child’s baby teeth have very deep grooves or pits, Dr. Nanna may also recommend sealants on these teeth. Baby teeth play an important role in ensuring healthy permanent teeth that erupt in the proper locations, so it’s important to take proper care of these teeth.
To learn more about sealants, or to schedule an appointment for your child, call Dr. Nanna’s office today.