Sealants can be an important part of every child’s dental care. Sealants help protect the teeth, both baby teeth and adult molars, from decay throughout your child’s entire life.
What are sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic covering that is adhered to the chewing surface of the molars. The sealant attaches to the surface of the tooth and sinks into the grooves that are on the child’s molars.
Why are sealants so important?
Sealants protect the chewing surface of your child’s teeth from decay. Our molars do the majority of the chewing and grinding of food, and they also have a lot of deep grooves in their surfaces, which makes them susceptible to tooth decay caused by leftover or trapped food. The sealants ‘seal’ out this food completely, creating a barrier in between the tooth and everything it comes in contact with. Daily brushing is still necessary with sealants, though you can rest a little easier knowing that the most vulnerable parts of your child’s molars are continually protected.
What is the process of getting sealants?
First, Dr. Pagé will thoroughly clean the teeth that will have the sealant treatment. The teeth will be dried and an absorbent material will be placed around the tooth so no moisture (saliva) gets in between the tooth and the sealant. The teeth are then roughened up with a slightly acidic substance, which will help create a stronger bond since a rougher surface has more grip than a smooth one. The teeth are cleaned, rinsed, and dried one more time, and then the sealant is painted onto the surface of the teeth, sinking into every nook and cranny. Once this is complete, a special light might be used to help the sealant harden, and then your child is good to go! Dr. Pagé will inform you of any follow up information to care for your child’s sealants.
When should I get them?
Once your child’s molars come in, sealants should be on your to-do list. When the teeth grow in, they’re perfectly free from any kind of decay or damage, and this is the state Dr. Pagé wants to preserve them in. The sooner the better! The sealant will protect the teeth against decay from the day they’re placed all the way through adulthood. The years between ages 6 and 14 are cavity-prone years, so it’s best to preserve the health of your child’s teeth during these crucial years.