A dental sealant is a clear plastic coating that is bonded to the teeth to prevent cavities. They can be applied to any tooth at any age but are most commonly applied to the first and second molars when they come in at ages 6 and 12.
These rear molars have more fissures or grooves on them than the other teeth, which causes them to trap bacteria and food particles more easily. This is why these teeth are harder to clean and are at a higher risk for cavities.
The plastic coatings seal out substances that cause cavities, such as sugars, acids, and bacteria. They also provide a smoother surface for your tooth, covering up the grooves that trap these substances so it’s easier to keep the teeth clean. Contact us at Sasco Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment in Fairfield.
Sealants should be reapplied every 2 to 4 years.
Dr. Michelle will assess your child’s oral health to rule out any oral health problems. She’ll perform an oral exam to determine which teeth should receive sealants at our Fairfield practice.
The teeth that are receiving sealants will first be cleaned and dried.
After etching the teeth with an acidic gel that roughens them and helps the bonding material stick, the plastic coatings will be applied in a thin layer.
Exposing the sealants to UV light causes them to instantly harden.
Since children already have a higher predisposed risk for cavities compared to adults, applying dental sealants can help reduce that risk with a convenient treatment that is painless, fast, affordable, and non-invasive.
Sealants take almost no time to apply and children don’t need to receive needles or anesthetic for this treatment. Once applied, they protect your child against 80% of cavities in the first 2 years and 50% of cavities in the first 4 years. While sealants can become damaged or dislodged over time, they can also last for a decade or longer with proper care.
If your child is between the ages of 6 and 14, they are likely a great candidate for dental sealants. Our Fairfield recommends that you have sealants placed on the molars and premolars as soon as they erupt, which starts at age 6.
Sealants are particularly helpful for children who have limited dexterity and struggle to thoroughly brush or floss their teeth. This will provide them with additional cavity prevention. Dental sealants are especially important for children with very deep grooves on their teeth. Some children may need sealants at a younger age if they have more teeth with pits and grooves.
Dental sealants have the capacity to last for a decade. However, you may need to replace them sooner if they become worn down, dislodged, or lose their effectiveness. Sealants are most effective at preventing cavities when they’re first applied and they slowly start to reduce their efficiency as time goes on.
Regular dental appointments are important because your Fairfield kid's dentist can assess your child’s sealants and let you know when it’s time to replace them. Replacing dental sealants doesn’t require removing the old sealants.
They can be applied right on top. Since sealants often become worn down from chewing and grinding forces within just a few years, most kid's dentists recommend having them reapplied every 2 to 4 years.
Dental sealants don’t dissolve in your child’s saliva.