Why Pediatric Dentists Give Dental Sealants their Seal of Approval
Has your kid’s dentist recommended sealants for your child, but you’re not sure what they do? Discover how dental sealants can protect your child’s smile.
Chew on the Benefits of Sealants
While some parents think that dental sealants are new, sealants were actually developed in the 1960s and have withstood the tests of trial and time. Despite their strong decay defense, barely 20 percent of children in the United States have sealants. These thin, plastic coverings are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the child’s back teeth. Deep grooves on these teeth tend to trap food and plaque and cause tooth decay. But by applying sealants to these teeth, it forms a protective shield to keep particles out and reduce the risk of cavities. This why so many kid’s dentists recommend dental sealants to prevent tooth decay in children.
Ages for Applying Dental Sealants
Pediatric dentists recommend that all parents consider sealants to prevent tooth decay in children. Your child should have sealants applied on their permanent molars as soon as they emerge to provide immediate decay defense. Here are some of the stages and reasons when sealants are appropriate:
- Age 5 to 7 – A child’s first permanent molars appear.
- Age 11 to 14 – The second permanent molars emerge.
- Children may also need sealants on teeth near the molars with similar deep grooves.
- Your kid’s dentist may also suggest sealants on baby teeth that are deeply grooved.
Dental sealants take only minutes to apply, but can provide up to 10 years of protection against tooth decay in children. Over time, daily wear and tear may cause sealants to chip or thin. This is why pediatric dentists carefully check them at every dental appointment to see if they need repair. Any problems can easily be remedied with the quick addition of more sealant material. In addition, getting sealants for your child will save you the time and money of later dental problems. With so many dental benefits, it’s easy to see why sealants are a healthy choice for children.