If your child has their permanent back teeth in, your dentist has probably recommended that they get dental sealants. Since your mouth has germs that can cause cavities, sealants are one of the recommended ways to prevent them on back teeth.
Why Your Child Should Get Sealants
The main reason why sealants are recommended is that they help prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste protects the smooth tooth surfaces. The biting surfaces have deep grooves that can trap germs in your mouth. The toothbrush bristles are too big to reach those grooves on your teeth. A sealant will fill those deep grooves with a tooth-colored coating which seals out cavity-causing germs.
How are sealants placed?
Your dentist or dental hygienist can place sealants on your child’s teeth. The key to placing sealants effectively is to keep the tooth surface dry.
1) Clean and rinse top of tooth with a special paste.
2) Dry the tooth and place cotton around it to keep it dry.
3) A special gel is placed on the tooth to make it slightly rough.
4) Rinse and dry the tooth. Place new cotton rolls around tooth.
5) Paint liquid sealant into grooves.
6) Hold a blue curing light over sealant to make it solidify.
Who should get sealants?
Children should have sealants placed on their “6 year molars” and their “12 year molars” as soon as they are fully erupted. This way, they can be sealed before a cavity has a chance to form. If your child has newly erupted molars, visit your dentist to inquire about getting sealants for them.
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