What Do Dental Sealants Protect Children's Teeth From?

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With the increasing number of cavities among young children and teens, more and more dental experts stress the need for sealants for kids. Dental sealants for children are quite popular since tooth decay can begin once teeth come in. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends placing sealants on all children and adolescents' permanent or primary molars to prevent cavities. If you have questions about sealants for kids, then we have the answers at Byers Station Dental in Chester Springs, PA. Read on to learn more about how they work as a protective coating for your children's teeth to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

What is a dental sealant?

A dental sealant can help reduce the risk of cavities. It is not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of those pesky back teeth. Molars have a rough, uneven surface, making them a perfect target for cavity-causing bacteria and leftover food to hide. Dental sealants are a clear, protective coating bonded to the chewing surface of your back teeth and shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80%. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), school-age children without dental sealants are three times more likely to have more issues with cavities than children with sealants.

How are dental sealants applied to teeth?

Both children and adults can benefit from dental sealants. They are like "raincoats" for your teeth. However, the earlier you get them, the better off your permanent teeth will be. Sealing your child's permanent teeth as soon as they come in can keep them cavity-free from the start. It can even help save you money in the long run with this quick and virtually painless in-office treatment. Your child's teeth will be cleaned and dried before an acidic gel is brushed on. The gel roughs up the tooth's surface so the sealant can adhere correctly. After a few seconds, the gel is rinsed off before the sealant is applied and bonded with a special blue light to harden it.

How do dental sealants for children work?

Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting tooth enamel from harmful acids, bacteria, and plaque. By "sealing" out bacteria, food, and other cavity-causing factors, sealants protect teeth from the risk of tooth decay taking up residency. They are typically applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth, or molars, to cover up the deep grooves and pits. Sealants are an easy, fast treatment that begin protecting your child's teeth almost immediately after application and can last for several years.

Are teeth sealants for children safe?

Dental sealants for children are safe and made of medical-grade resin, similar to composite used in other dental procedures like tooth-colored fillings. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends sealants for kids ages 5 – 14 years old. Once your child's first permanent molars come in, ask our dental experts at Byers Station Dental about dental sealants. Another round can be applied when your child gets their second set of permanent molars, usually between the age of 11 – 14 years old. It is an easy, noninvasive procedure that takes about 5 – 10 minutes to complete.

Dental sealants cover the chewing surfaces of your child's back teeth to help keep out food, plaque, and harmful bacteria. It is a safe and easy way to protect your child's teeth from cavities for at least 5 – 10 years or more. At Byers Station Dental, we offer excellent dental care for your entire family. To schedule an appointment for your child or learn more about dental sealants for children, contact our Chester Springs, PA office today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.