3 Things You Should Know About Dental Sealants

If you're like most parents, you want the very best for your child, and that includes good dental health. Here is further information you should know about dental sealants. 

Dental Sealants Provide a Good First Line of Defense

Dental sealants are made from thin, tough layers of plastic that provide a barrier between the surface of the teeth and food debris and other materials that can cause tooth decay. They are mainly used on the back teeth of children between the ages of 6 and 14. Most children have their first dental sealing procedure shortly after their first molars come in, which is usually by the age of six, and have subsequent sealing procedures performed whenever new back teeth grow in. Dental sealants generally last for several years.

The main reason why dental sealants are often recommended for children is that children usually lack the manual dexterity necessary to do a thorough job of brushing and flossing their teeth. This is why children are particularly prone to the development of cavities. 

Dental Sealants Take Less Than 30 Minutes to Apply 

The process of applying a dental sealant is quick and painless and should take no more than 30 minutes. The procedure is performed in the dentist's office. First, the teeth are cleaned are dried and an acidic gel-like substance is brushed on the teeth that are to be sealed. This substance is designed to create a textured surface that will make it easier for the sealant to bond. The dentist will rinse this off within several seconds and thoroughly dry the teeth again. The sealant is then applied, and as a final touch, the dentist will use a special dental instrument with a blue light to quickly dry the sealant in place. 

Dental Sealants Won't Take the Place of a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Although dental sealants have been found to significantly cut down on the number of cavities in children, the procedure nonetheless should never be considered a substitute to a good oral hygiene routine. Your child should brush and floss his or her teeth at least twice per day as well as see a pediatric dentist for checkups every six months. Keep in mind that the oral hygiene practices your child learns at this stage of life will set the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.

Feel free to reach out to local pediatric dental clinics for more information on protecting your child's teeth from decay and cavities.