Ensuring that your child's teeth and gums are healthy and well taken care of isn't always an easy task. Children typically don't do as good a job brushing and flossing their teeth as adults do, so the risk of cavities is high. However, that doesn't mean that you're helpless. Here's how you can protect your child from cavities with dental sealants.
What They Are
Dental sealants are basically what they sound like: a seal placed over a tooth. Dental sealants can be applied to any kind of tooth, whether or not it's an adult tooth or baby tooth. By using dental sealants, your child will have an improved resistance against developing cavities.
What They Do
Dental sealants are like an extra layer of enamel on your child's tooth. They're a thin but tough transparent layer that prevents bacteria, acid, and food debris from harming your child's teeth.
When your child eats, food and bacteria are left behind in the mouth. This bacteria can grow for hours while your child is busy with school and activities, during which time it's gradually but steadily beginning to chew away at teeth. This is often what leads to cavities.
By applying a layer of dental sealant, the sealant will take the brunt of the bacteria's assault. In most cases, with proper dental hygiene care, dental sealants can dramatically boost your child's defense against cavities and you should see significantly healthier dental check-ups following their application.
How They're Applied
Dental sealants are very easy to have applied, which is good news for kids who are nervous about seeing a dentist. There's no drilling, sedative, or pain killers required.
Your dentist's first step will be to thoroughly clean your child's teeth. This is just to make sure that the teeth are healthy and to ensure that no bacteria gets trapped inside the dental sealant.
Once your child's mouth is clean, the sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of their teeth. It goes on in a liquid form and quickly dries. Your dentist may use a light tool in order to speed up the process of hardening the sealant, but this is also painless and non-obtrusive.
Once your child's sealants have dried, they're all done. The sealants will continue protecting your child for years to come.
Dental sealants are an easy way to help prevent your child from developing cavities. If you're worried about the number of cavities your child has already had, talk to a family dentist about getting dental sealants applied to put an end to them.