The regular use of dental sealants has greatly reduced the occurrence of cavities in younger patients. Most dentists recommend sealants for secondary molars. Sealants are quick and easy to apply, and are highly effective in helping preserve the secondary molars. Our Grand Prairie dental office can answer all your questions about dental sealants, how they work, and why they are important.
How Sealants Work
Dental sealant consists of a thin layer of plastic that is painted on the surface of the teeth. Some sealants are activated with a light to help them harden more quickly. The layer of sealant prevents plaque and tartar from clinging to the teeth or wedging in the crevices of the chewing surfaces. Sealants are clear, so they will not change the look of your child’s smile.
Sealants last about five to ten years. Each time your child visits the dentist, he will evaluate the condition of the sealants and determine if they must be reapplied. With dental sealants, your child’s teeth will remain free of decay, so that you will not have to worry about fillings or crowns. Decay weakens the molars, and teeth become weaker when they are treated with fillings.
When Should My Child Have Sealants?
Permanent molars typically begin to erupt at about six years old. The second set of molars usually arrives at about the age of twelve. Because younger children are not as likely to keep their teeth consistently clean, many children suffer decay in these early permanent molars. Since these teeth will be with the child throughout life, your dentist will probably recommend that the first molars be treated as soon as they emerge. Protecting these teeth with dental sealant will help ensure that your child will have healthy teeth into adulthood.
Treatment with dental sealants is not a replacement for regular dental care, including regular brushing and flossing, dental check-ups and fluoride treatments. Sealants help protect the teeth, but other maintenance and regular care are also vital to keeping the teeth healthy in the long term.
For questions and additional information about dental sealants, please contact Active Dental at 972-606-2999.