Dental sealants are a common preventive procedure used in pediatric dentistry. But many parents are still confused about the use of sealants and when their kids are ready to get them.
Why Get Sealants
A dental sealant is a thin layer of tooth-colored resin painted on the chewing surface of a molar (back tooth used for grinding food.) It fills in deep grooves and valleys and creates a subtly more level plane. This seals out cavity-causing germs and makes it easier for a toothbrush to remove debris.
Getting sealants is a preventative dental procedure with the goal of reducing a child’s cavity risk.
Children tend to be at higher risk for decay because they usually don’t have as good of brushing capabilities as adults.
When to Seal?
As soon as those molars erupt, they’re candidates for sealants. Sealing them when they’re fresh and healthy is ideal, since you can’t seal teeth that are already weakened by cavities.
But there isn’t an age-limit, either. As long as the teeth are healthy, they can be sealed in adults as well.
You also need to take into consideration your child’s ability to sit through treatment.
Dental sealants don’t take long, require zero-drilling, and they don’t hurt at all. Still, the procedure may overwhelm a little one not used to sitting with his or her mouth open for more than a few seconds at a time.
Placing sealants requires a dry working area and too much saliva in the mouth of a wiggly six-year-old can make that a struggle!
Use your best judgement. Carefully weigh your child’s abilities with the need to prevent decay. Consult with your local dentist or dental hygienist to find out if your child is ready for sealants.
Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
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