In the battle against cavities, brushing is not always enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your child’s mouth. It is difficult for a brush to reach between the small cracks and grooves on teeth.
If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Dental sealants give a child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on the tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth, so they are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after their permanent teeth grow in. Application is quick and painless. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist can recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it’s fully intact, so if your son or daughter’s sealants wear off, let your dentist know and schedule an appointment for another application.