What types of dental sealants are used by a pediatric dentist?

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Nanna Ariaban, continues with the series explaining the importance of dental sealants. We have already covered what dental sealants are, but let’s refresh our minds on the subject. Dr. Nanna explained that they are a clear, thin coating that goes on the chewing surface of the teeth and pediatric dentists use these resources to help reinforce the developing oral hygiene habits of children.

In truth, dental sealants are not exclusive to children; anyone can get this treatment to avoid decay on their teeth. Of course, dental sealants alone are not enough to prevent cavities, but they will help minimize the risk of accumulated food debris in the grooves of your teeth.

You should still be mindful of your child’s habits of brushing their teeth and flossing daily. The best way to deal with dental health complications is to prevent them altogether. We will happily help your children with treatments that reinforce their teeth, such as fluoride and dental sealants. However, we should never underestimate the importance of good dental hygiene habits.

Are There Different Types of Sealants?

Technically, sealants are a combination of chemicals, fillers, and resins. The two most common types of dental sealants used in preventive dentistry are glass ionomers and composite resin fillings. Each material has differences that pediatric dentists have to consider before settling for one treatment or another.

Some materials may be more resistant to wear; others may more readily flow into the pits and fissures of your child’s teeth. But regardless of the option you choose for treatment, you should know that they are perfectly safe.

Some people are worried that the child’s body can absorb the sealant materials and that this may result in harm, but you can find credible studies that discredit these concerns.

Composite Resin

These dental sealants will not release fluoride over time, so they don’t provide any additional benefits to your child’s tooth enamel layers. They can be tooth-colored to blend in naturally in the child’s mouth.

We use a resin that gets bonded to your teeth with a dental curing light. The process of crying the sealants with light is quick. Keep in mind that they are susceptible to moisture. Still, you can leave those concerns to professionals like us!

This treatment option is more durable than the glass ionomer counterpart we mention below. However, you should still take your child to their pediatric dentist frequently to make sure that all is going well with the treatment.

Glass Ionomer

This alternative to treatment is a more flexible paste that we can use for baby teeth. We do not cure this compound with light; instead, we have to mix two components to create an acid-base reaction over the patient’s teeth.

This flexible paste gets bonded to the teeth. It slowly releases fluoride strengthening the tooth’s enamel for a long time. Glass Ionomer sealants are not as durable as their resin counterparts. Still, they do provide significantly better caries-prevention benefits during the treatment.

Glass ionomer materials blend very well with a patient’s natural tooth color, so many people prefer these as a functional and good-looking treatment.

When Would a Pediatric Dentist Recommend Dental Sealants?

Because a pediatric dentist’s area of expertise is primarily younger patients, we would recommend that parents ask about dental sealants when their first permanent molars erupt.

Your child can also get dental sealants for their primary teeth, which is an excellent way of complementing their dental hygiene routine. Nevertheless, we would emphasize the importance of preventing decay in permanent teeth like a child’s first and second molars.

A child’s molar teeth usually erupt around ages 6 and 12, so marking your calendars for those occasions might help in planning to ensure your child’s good dental health. Teens are also good candidates for this treatment, but you will have better results the earlier you get dental sealants for your child.

If you would like to learn more about how we apply dental sealants, you can read along with another of our blog posts or check out this WebMD page.

You Can Get Your Dental Sealants With Us!

Dr. Nanna Ariaban and the team at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry love helping kids maintain their good dental health. We like assisting kids in improving their brushing and flossing techniques and help parents protect their children’s teeth.

We know you try your best to teach your children everything there is to know about adequately brushing their teeth, flossing once a day, and how much toothpaste to use. Still, we encourage you to ask a professional pediatric dentist about treatments that strengthen your child’s teeth.

You can get such treatments in our office, like fluoride treatment or dental sealants. Make sure you give us a call or follow this link to set an appointment online. We will be happy to help you and your family protect your children’s teeth!