Regular brushing and flossing help prevent your child from developing cavities, but even with excellent oral hygiene habits, it’s still possible to experience tooth decay. Molars, in particular, remain vulnerable to cavities because of the structure of these teeth.
By getting sealants, most children and teenagers can significantly reduce their likelihood of getting molar cavities. Learn from Easy Dental Care pediatric dentists, Hisham Merdad, BDS, DSCD, and Zuwena Abraham, DDS, which children should get sealants.
Sealants and their role in dental health
Molar teeth have uneven surfaces that make them more difficult to clean and more prone to cavities than other teeth. Dental sealant is a thin layer of protective coating placed on your child’s teeth by our pediatric dentists to shield their molars by preventing bacteria from getting stuck and causing cavities.
After getting dental sealants, it’s much easier for children to keep their molars clean. Combined with practicing good dental hygiene, children who get sealants reduce their risk of molar cavities by as much as 80%.
Who should get sealants?
Most children and teenagers are good candidates for sealants once they start getting permanent teeth. If your child meets the criteria for sealants, make an appointment at Easy Dental Care for a consultation.
Children first getting their permanent molars
Children gain the most benefit from sealants as soon as they start getting their permanent adult molars. This is usually around age six for the first set of molars and 12 for the second set.
Children with permanent molars who haven’t gotten sealants yet
If your child or teenager has permanent molars and didn’t previously get sealants, they can still get them now. Sealants will offer the same protection to their molars as soon as they are applied.
Children with chipped or worn dental sealants
Usually, sealants last 9-10 years. However, they occasionally chip, crack, or wear down, and need to be replaced. Our dentists check your child’s sealants at routine dental cleanings and examinations to ensure they are still secure.
The sealant application process
Getting sealants is a quick and painless process that only takes a few minutes per tooth. Your child’s sealant procedure takes place at the Easy Dental Care office.
Our pediatric dental team starts by cleaning, then drying the molar that will receive the sealant. Next, an acid solution is placed on your child’s tooth, which helps with the process of bonding the sealant to the tooth.
After the acid is applied, our dentists rinse, then dry the tooth. Finally, they apply the sealant, where it quickly hardens as it bonds to the tooth. The process is repeated until each molar has sealant applied.
Sealants can fully protect your child or teen’s permanent molars through their teen years and into adulthood. Contact the Easy Dental Care team online or by calling our Gainesville, Virginia, office to make an appointment to discuss sealants for your child.