What are Dental Sealants?

child in the dental seatEven if your child brushes well, it’s difficult to do a good job of getting the back teeth clean, since nooks and crannies on molars are prime spots for developing cavities. Fortunately, dental sealants can greatly reduce their risk of getting a cavity on these back teeth, and the sealants are quick and easy for your dentist to apply.

In this blog, the pediatric dentists at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics explain more about what dental sealants are.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating that your dentist paints on the surface of your child’s back teeth. Since molars are rough and uneven, bacteria and leftover food particles work their way into these nooks and crannies, where they’re hard to brush away.

Good flossing and brushing is often harder for kids than adults, and it’s easy for them to do a less-than-thorough job on their molars. This, combined with molars’ shape and texture, make them frequent trouble spots.

What are the advantages of sealants?

The following are some of the advantages provided by dental sealants:

  • Reduction in cavities: Sealants can greatly reduce the average number of cavities in children.
  • Easy and painless: Sealants are painted on the teeth, where they flow into the molars’ deep grooves and immediately harden. Your child will be able to eat as soon as they’re applied.
  • Long-lasting protection: Sealants protect against about 80% of cavities for two years and against 50% of cavities for up to four years.
  • Avoidance of more involved procedures: Without dental sealants, your child is more likely to need expensive, more invasive treatment like fillings.

When should children get sealants?

Children who have their six-year molars can get sealants, and it can be done between the ages of 6 and 16.

What does getting sealants for kids involve?

Your child’s dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean the surface of your child’s teeth to which sealant will be applied. The teeth are then washed with water and dried. A solution is placed on your child’s teeth and then rinsed off. It helps the sealant to adhere to the tooth, and after it’s dried, the dentist will paint liquid sealant on the teeth, where it quickly hardens.

Sealants are likely to last for several years before they need to be reapplied. You child’s dentist can check them during regular visits to make sure they’re still in good condition and can easily reapply them if needed.

If you’d like to find out whether dental sealants could help improve your child’s oral health, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. Our welcoming, child-friendly office makes our young patients feel relaxed and comfortable, and we specialize in providing the highest level of care combined with compassion. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.

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