Can Dental Sealants Protect Your Child From Cavities and Tooth Decay?

Dental decay is becoming prevalent in teenagers and children under the age of ten.   Part of the reason for this loss of a precious tooth is attributed to careless oral hygiene.  But sometimes even top-notch oral hygiene cannot prevent us from developing dental cavities. 

This is due to the fact that regular brushing and flossing actions are not enough to get rid of all bacteria, especially in the molars. 

Run your tongue over your back teeth (molars) and sense their complicated topography.  The molars do not have a smooth surface. Rather they are filled with tiny pits and grooves.   Molars are cavity-prone areas as food particles get trapped in these pits,  leading to the formation of plaque. 

The mechanical action of brushing your teeth is not enough to remove the bacteria and plaque from the elusive pits of molars.  Hence, cavities develop in back teeth. To protect the cavity-prone areas from disease, dentists recommend the use of dental sealants from an early age. 

What are dental sealants and how do they help with dental ailments? Let’s see.

Dental Sealants Explained

  • A dental sealant is a thin coating made of BPA free plastic. It is painted on top of the tooth’s enamel. The plastic coating adheres to the pits and grooves of molars and acts as a protective covering against bacterial attacks. 

Dental sealants are an easy and pain-free way of ensuring that the chewing surfaces of molars are protected against dental decay. Dental sealants are durable and may require reapplication after 4-5 years. They are designed in a way that they are not damaged by normal chewing action. 

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Dental sealants are easy to apply. It is a painless process which involves the following steps:

  • The dentist disinfects the teeth.
  • He then applies an acidic gel on the tooth. The gel acts as a binding material between the tooth and the sealant.
  • Once the gel settles, the sealant is applied to the grooves of the tooth. 
  • Blue light is shone on the tooth to harden the sealant.

Potential Benefits of Dental Sealants

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants reduce the chances of cavity formation by 86% for the first year of application. As years go on, their effectiveness reduces but still stands at 50% prevention against cavities.

Long term benefits of dental cavities are as follows:

  • Time-saving treatment. Dental sealants are a part of preventive dentistry. The use of these sealants will prevent you from getting cavities. Dental fillings take a lot of time and are quite a hassle to deal with. They also cause dental anxiety as nobody looks forward to a dental procedure that involves drills. 
  • Inexpensive procedure; helps you save money. Dental procedures aren’t cheap, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. Dental sealants are affordable with the average cost ranging between $30 to $60 per tooth. They don’t require frequent maintenance either. Hence, you will save a considerable amount of money by opting for dental sealants.
  • Have a healthy mouth. Dental cavities lead to loss of precious tooth material. A filling cannot substitute the functioning and strength of a healthy tooth. Dental cavities also lead to more dental problems. A cavity that is not treated on time usually results in gum problems such as gingivitis. Dental sealants help in avoiding cavities altogether, leading to a much healthier oral ecosystem.

If you are looking for a reliable dentist for your child in Everett and Seattle, we recommend you consult Icon Dental Center. Their qualified professionals are skilled in providing dental sealant services for children and adults.

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