Once their permanent teeth come in, your child faces a cavity-prone period until about the age of 14, years when tooth decay takes an easy hold. The fillings necessary to repair decay can undermine the long-term health of these teeth.
Deep grooves and developing oral care skills may conspire to assist tooth decay. Dental sealants emerged as a way to provide additional protection, particularly for the chewing surfaces of molars. At Russell Family Dentistry in Tomball, Texas, the dental team often recommends dental sealants for the literal layers of protection they provide for your children. Here are five ways dental sealants protect your child’s oral health.
What are dental sealants?
Made from several types of medical-grade materials like resins and glass ionomers, dental sealants create a protective layer on vulnerable tooth surfaces to prevent the trapping of food particles and bacteria that erode tooth enamel. Premolars and molars, with their wide chewing surfaces, are the usual targets for sealants. One of the most common preventive dentistry services performed in the United States, almost half of all children aged 6 to 19 have dental sealants protecting their teeth.
5 ways dental sealants protect your child's oral health
Some of the benefits of dental sealants are likely already obvious to you. Here are five ways that sealants enhance your child’s dental care.
1. An easy treatment
Rather than a stressful appointment with needles and drills, sealant application is fast, easy, and painless. Applied with a brush and hardened with a special ultraviolet light, sealant appointments are a breeze. For optimal effects, schedule your child’s sealant application between the ages of five and seven, after their permanent molars erupt.
2. Protection against cavities and gum disease
Sealants form a physical barrier against cavities, and they also contribute to healthier conditions inside your child’s mouth. Gum disease starts with a proliferation of bacteria that thrive in the mixture of food debris and saliva that can build up. Since sealants reduce the places food gets trapped, bacteria have a tougher time taking hold. The smooth surface of a sealant-capped molar makes it easier for a child to brush away, too.
3. Saves time and money
Sealant applications are less expensive than a series of fillings. You’ll see more routine check-ups and fewer additional appointments for extra dental work. That means less time away from school and work, too.
4. Long-lasting protection
Sealants can protect your child’s teeth from decay for up to 10 years. Sealants do need monitoring for wear and damage, and, if necessary, we can touch up or replace worn sealants to continue the protection. Sealants are also suitable for adults with deep natural crevasses in their molars.
5. An improved dental care experience
Your child invests time and effort into learning to care for their teeth. It’s discouraging to put the time and effort into brushing only to experience another cavity. It may be due to the composition of their young teeth, but the message comes through that brushing is a waste of time. Sealants support their success through the early years of dental care.
At Russell Family Dentistry in Tomball, Texas, we provide care for the entire family. Call or click today to learn more about dental sealant services for your child.