How Dental Sealants Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

How Dental Sealants Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

People often associate dental problems with teenagers or adults. But, surprisingly, children have an incredibly high risk of dental cavities. And those ages 6-11 years old with the highest rates of decay have one thing in common — no dental sealant. But why should this matter?

Tooth enamel breaks down because of carbohydrates in the diet. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth feed on carbohydrates. As the bacteria break those carbs down, they release an acidic substance that eats tooth enamel, leading to decay and cavities. 

Consuming a diet high in sweets, sugary cereals, pastries, and soda, increases the risk of cavities. One way to avoid cavities is to help your child make healthier food choices. But that’s only the beginning. You can also opt for dental sealants. 

Our Fresh Dental Care team specializes in pediatric dentistry. Here, our experts explain how sealants protect your child’s oral health by helping to prevent cavities.

How sealants work

We apply a thin coating of plastic to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. This is the part of the mouth where most cavities occur. Sealants protect the tooth by filling the crevices and the grooves where food particles are more likely to build up and harder to reach, even with regular brushing. 

Once in place, dental sealants can last up to 10 years. 

When children should get sealants

Cavities can develop as soon as that first tooth appears. As a result, you should get your child’s first sealants the moment their first set of molars emerge, typically around age 6. 

By age 12, most children get their second set of molars. At that point, you can book an appointment to protect those teeth with sealant as well. 

What to expect when a child gets sealants

When a cavity develops, it requires a filling — a procedure that takes longer, costs more, and causes more discomfort during the treatment. We can apply sealants within minutes, and the process is completely pain-free. 

During the appointment, we simply use a small brush to paint a special solution on the molar that coats the chewing surface of the tooth. Then, we dry it with a special light. That’s it; the sealant is in place. 

Sealants and cavity prevention

It’s hard to beat the benefits of dental sealants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that sealants can prevent 80% of the cavities on the back teeth. Remember, that’s where the majority of cavities occur. 

On top of that, many insurance plans cover sealants. However, even if you pay out-of-pocket, the cost of dental sealants is significantly cheaper than those associated with dental fillings. 

How to protect your child’s teeth with dental sealants 

It’s easy to get started with sealants at Fresh Dental Care. Taking this step protects your child’s teeth with an affordable yet powerful solution against cavities. Adults who want to protect their molars against tooth decay can also benefit from sealants. 

Make your appointment with the team at Fresh Dental Care at any of our convenient locations in Houston, Texas, today.

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