Tooth decay is a prevalent problem that affects millions of children every year. When left untreated for a considerable amount of time, tooth decay can result in the need for extensive dental procedures and sometimes tooth loss.
Even with diligent brushing and flossing, there’s still a risk of developing cavities. Children between the ages of 6 and 14 are especially susceptible to cavities and, as such, often require additional protection. That’s where dental sealants come in.
A dental sealant is a protective plastic or resin coating applied to the back teeth to keep cavities at bay. Sealants form a protective shield that keeps away food debris, bacteria, acids, and plaque. When applied to the deep grooves of the molars and premolars, sealants significantly lower the risk of tooth decay for many years.
Our kids’ dentist recommends that children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars come in, usually between ages 5 and 7.
The sealants application process is straightforward and painless and doesn’t require anesthesia. However, if your child has unique or special needs, our dentist may recommend mild sedation to allow the process to go smoothly.
We begin by cleaning your child’s teeth thoroughly to remove all bacteria, food debris, and plaque. After drying the teeth, an etching solution is used to roughen the teeth’ surfaces. Sealant material adheres better to rougher surfaces. Next, the teeth are carefully rinsed and dried again. Finally, the dentist paints the sealant material onto the tooth enamel while sometimes using a special light to facilitate the curing process.
Tooth sealants have an impressive shelf-life of up to 10 years. However, your child must get checked at every dental exam to ensure they’re not chipped or worn. If the sealants are trapped, food debris and bacteria can get trapped underneath, leading to cavities. If any issues are detected, our children’s dentist will do what is needed to ensure continued protection.
Some factors that influence the sealants’ lifespan include your child’s oral hygiene habits and diet. As such, you must encourage your child to adopt practices that boost their oral well-being.
Remember to schedule regular dental exams and cleanings with our pediatric dentist in Great Neck, NY, every six months.
If you’re interested in dental sealants for kids in Great Neck, NY, get in touch with Great Neck Dental Associates, Mid-Island Dental Associates, and Kid Island Dental today.