Should Every Child Get Sealants?

Should Every Child Get Sealants?

As family dentists, we provide dental care for all members of your family, from your oldest to your tiniest ones. We’re here when problems, such as toothaches, jaw pain, or bleeding gums, arise, but we also want to help you and your family avoid problems whenever possible. And one way we do that is with dental sealants. 

Dental sealants are thin protective coatings that David Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, of The Woodlands Dental Group apply to the chewing surfaces of your child’s premolars and molars to help prevent tooth decay. 

Sealants are one of the best ways to prevent cavities and the complications associated with tooth decay. In this blog, Dr. Epstein and Dr. Vakil explain what dental sealants are and who should get them.

Should all children receive dental sealants?

In general, all children should receive dental sealants. This is because children who receive dental sealants reduce their risk of developing cavities by 80%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Dental Association recommends that children receive sealants as soon as their permanent molars emerge. When molars emerge can vary, but, on average, a child’s first molars usually emerge between the ages of 6 and 9, and their second molars usually emerge between the ages of 10 and 14. 

While all children can benefit from dental sealants, children who have an increased risk of developing tooth decay may particularly benefit from sealants. Risk factors for developing tooth decay include:

Even if your child already has a filling, they can still benefit from sealants. Sealing a tooth with a filling can prevent additional decay from developing.

What to expect when your child receives dental sealants

Dental sealants — which are clear and undetectable — prevent cavities by sealing out bacteria. Bacteria — and the acid they create — is what eats away at enamel. So by stopping bacteria from eating away at enamel, this can help prevent decay. 

When it comes to getting the treatment, the process is easy and painless. First, we clean and dry your child’s teeth.

Next, we apply an acidic gel solution to the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars to help the sealant stick to their teeth more effectively. Then we rinse and dry their teeth again. Finally, we paint the sealant onto the tooth enamel. It then bonds to the tooth and hardens. That’s it!

Sealants can protect your child’s teeth for several years, but Dr. Epstein and Dr. Vakil will examine your child’s sealants during their checkups and cleanings to look for any signs that they may need a touch-up.

To learn more about dental sealants and to see if they could help your child, book an appointment over the phone with The Woodlands Dental Group today.

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