It’s not in doubt that most of the kids have a sweet tooth. A kid would rather take a glass of juice than water. I haven’t met a kid who can turn down candy. Considering that kids are at a higher risk for tooth decay than adults, the regular cleaning and flossing aren’t enough to keep tooth decay at bay. However, there is a safety net that can prevent tooth decay in children by up to 80 percent. It’s called a dental sealant.
1. What is dental sealant?
A dental sealant is an invisible thin plastic coating placed on the surface of the molars and pre-molars to protect them from agents of tooth decay. But why would you need dental sealants while you can clean and floss your teeth every day?
If you have ever looked at your teeth, you probably noticed that the back teeth (molars and premolars) have grooves. Sometimes, these grooves can be deep and narrow, making it difficult even for the best toothbrush to clean them. With time, plaque accumulates inside these fissures attracting bacteria which feed on it to produce acid. The acid then eats the enamel resulting in tooth decay.
Brushing the teeth with fluoride toothpaste helps to protect them from decay. Dental sealants, on the other hand, provide an extra layer of protection on the surfaces of molars and premolars that have grooves. A report from the CDC shows that applying dental sealants to children can help to prevent tooth decay by up to 80 percent.
2. Who can get dental sealants?
Both children and adults are good candidates of dental sealants. If your teeth are showing signs of tooth decay, you should talk to your dentist about the available options for dental sealants. However, you don’t need to wait until your teeth start developing cavities to get dental sealants. In fact, the earlier you get dental sealants, the better.
For most of the kids, the first set of molars erupts at the age of six, while the second set breaks at the age of 12. Applying dental sealants as soon as the teeth come out can help to keep the child cavity-free from the start. Again, talk to your dentist in Mesa AZ to know whether dental sealants are a good option for your child.
3. The process of applying sealants
The process is quick and painless. To start with, the dentist will clean and dry the tooth before applying an acidic gel that roughs up your tooth. After a short while, the dentist will then rinse off the acidic gel before applying a sealant. They will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.