Tooth decay in children is a big problem for many parents. It is a continuing struggle with regular flossing and brushing to get at all the nooks and crannies of your children’s teeth, especially molars. Perhaps you are thinking, “Dentists near me Indianapolis suggested dental sealants” and wondering if it is a good idea.
In fact, it may be an excellent idea for protecting your children’s teeth in the long term. Studies show that sealants can reduce tooth decay by as much as 80% in molars. A CDC report also states that children without dental sealants are three times more likely to have cavities than children with them.
Here are some basic facts about dental sealants for children to help you make a decision.
What is it?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating placed on the surface of the back teeth. These are the premolars and molars, which make chewing possible. Because there are many crevices in these back teeth, they are hard to clean. This makes them more prone to forming cavities than other types of teeth are.
How do they work?
Applying sealants to the tooth is quick and painless. The dentist will dry the tooth after cleaning it, and then paint acidic gel to it to make the surface a little rough. The dentist will then rinse the gel off, leave the tooth to dry, and then apply the sealant. The sealant bonds with the tooth with the help of a special light.
When should you get a dental sealant?
You can get a sealant any time you want. You can still get them even if the tooth shows early signs of decay. However, it is better for children to get them as soon as each of their permanent back teeth comes out. This should be between 6 and 12 years old for most children.
The sealant will last for a few years, at which time you should get the dentist to put in a fresh application.
Dental sealants can save you money in future dental bills by keeping cavities at a minimum. They are quite safe, so do not hesitate to go back to the dentist to find out how you can protect your children’s teeth.