If you’re concerned about cavities in your little one’s mouth, sealants can be a great addition to your dental care routine! Pediatric dental sealants are an excellent prevention technique – they reduce 80% of all cavities that occur on the surface of the tooth, where chewing occurs. Consider sealants your 100,000-mile warranty, spanning from cheek to cheek.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants start out as a liquid, which we apply to the teeth to create a smooth, easy-to-care-for surface. Once applied, we use a blue LED light which causes the liquid sealant to dry and harden. The sealant creates a super-thin coating, which is usually white or clear.
Applying sealants involves no drilling and no pain, so there’s no need for numbing agents. It’s a fast, non-invasive process. Unlike a filling, sealants bond to the exterior of the tooth, with nothing going inside of the tooth.
Why Do We Use Pediatric Dental Sealants?
Have you ever run your tongue over your back teeth and noticed the crevices and grooves? Our molars are similar to a mountain range – deep canyons and valleys with peaks and ridges. The grooves in our teeth can be fairly deep, which can make them hard to clean, especially for kids who are just getting into the swing of brushing.
We use sealants in pediatric dental practices to protect new permanent teeth, and even baby teeth in some cases. When we apply the liquid sealant to molars, it flows into crevices and over grooves. Once it hardens, it protects the enamel underneath from plaque, bacteria, and acids. The smooth surface is also much easier to clean when brushing. With these two factors combined, we’re able to reduce cavities on the tooth’s chewing surface by 80%.
Think of sealants as a shield – they protect teeth from outside forces that can harm the tooth and cause tooth decay. Tooth decay eventually leads to cavities, which require a much more invasive process to correct. The impacts of tooth decay can reach beyond cavities – it can also be distracting for kids, who then have issues with eating and sleeping.
Are Sealants the Only Cavity Protection Needed?
Sealants are a great way to protect against cavities, but they are just part of a healthy dental care routine. Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, regardless of flavor or type, can help teeth be more resistant to decay by strengthening enamel.
It’s also important to be mindful of sugary foods and the amount of time that food sits on teeth between eating and brushing. Focusing on low-sugar food and whole foods is a great way to eat for healthy teeth. For more on dental health and nutrition, read our blog here.
How Do You Care for Pediatric Dental Sealants?
We care for sealants the same way we care for our teeth already – no need to change up the routine! Sealant is a very thin, almost imperceptible layer on the teeth. The only change you or your child may notice is how easy it is to brush and floss.
If you’d like additional information on pediatric dental sealants, we’d love to hear from you!