Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?

As a parent, preventing tooth decay is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s oral health.

Fortunately as dental technology advances, new preventative treatment techniques are being developed to prevent dental carries. Dental sealants are one of the latest treatments that inhibit or prevent tooth decay in children and individuals of all ages.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, usually white or clear plastic coatings that are applied on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent various forms of tooth decay. Generally speaking, sealants are applied on the surface of permanent teeth, particularly the molars, because they are the ones that are most likely to suffer tooth decay.

To best prevent cavities, dental sealants for children are most effective when applied as soon as the molars start erupting. The sealant is easily applied and the process does not entail drilling or removing the tooth structure. The sealant works by effectively separating bacteria and plaque from the enamel of the molars and preventing bacteria in the mouth from coming in contact with the crevices on the tooth’s surface.

Are dental sealants really necessary?

Dental sealants are a highly effective treatment in the fight against tooth decay. They are especially helpful for children since their newly erupted permanent teeth are at a higher risk of developing cavities. In fact according to dentists, dental sealants for children are one of the most recommended but most under-used methods of preventing tooth decay.

Not all children require dental sealants. Some lucky ones have teeth that are naturally not susceptible to cavities or they have excellent oral hygiene habits. However, a large number of children need dental sealants to prevent tooth decay and maintain the quality, health and strength of their natural teeth. Only a dentist can determine if sealants are right for your child so be sure to ask during your child’s dental visit.

Dental sealants do not replace normal oral hygiene practices such as daily brushing and flossing. However using a sealant is a non-invasive method of preventing teeth cavities that could be the difference between a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth and the hazards of tooth decay.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.

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