Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the surface of the tooth to help prevent them from decay. We take a plastic-like liquid and drip it onto the biting surface to coat the pits and fissures that trap food and bacteria. UV light is then applied to harden the liquid and coat the areas that are difficult to reach when brushing. These sealants can significantly help fight tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to the permanent back teeth- the molars and premolars. At Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend applying the sealants between the ages of 5 and 7, as soon as the teeth erupt. By applying the sealant as soon as the teeth arrive, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of those teeth developing dental caries.
Do sealants really work? Research says yes! In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that youth treated with dental sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the occurrence of cavities, compared with those who do not receive sealants. Furthermore, sealants can often last for several years before they need reapplied and can be used over areas of early decay to stop the cavity from getting worse. Reading stats like that makes recommending sealants an obvious choice for us.
Applying dental sealants on your children’s teeth can have positive effects on your child’s long-term dental health, too. By reducing the chance of cavities on your child’s teeth when they are young and still learning proper dental care, you can help them avoid getting cavities on hard to reach areas that young children don’t always brush adequately. The sealants can act as a safety net to help protect teeth while our young patients are still perfecting their brushing techniques.
(photo provided by CDC webpage on oral health and dental sealants)
For more information about dental sealants, contact Anderson Pediatric Dentistry today. We can answer all your questions and discuss the benefits of dental sealants for your child.
If you would like to read more about the advantages of dental sealants and the current research and recommendations, visit these sites: