Children’s Dentistry Irving TX
Fluoride treatments are great for strengthening the enamel of your children’s teeth to help fight cavities. However, if your kids’ teeth have lines and grooves, rather than a smooth surface, our DFW dentist office may recommend that you consider dental sealants for your children.
Sealants smooth out the surface of teeth so that sugar, acids, candy, and other foods don’t stick in the grooves. Sealants fill in the grooves of the teeth to keep bacteria from developing and creating decay and cavities. Dental sealants are a liquid plastic material that is painted on the teeth, which then hardens into a thin plastic coat that forms a protective barrier. It is similar to painting a thin coat of clear nail polish on fingernails. Some dental sealants for children are also fluoride-releasing so they strengthen tooth enamel as they form a physical barrier.
How Would I Know If My Child Needs A Tooth Sealant?
Dr. Deb Seznik, our DFW kids’ dentist will examine your child’s teeth during his or her regularly scheduled dental checkup. If the teeth have a lot of lines and grooves in them — perfect hiding places for bacteria and decay to develop — she may recommend a sealant. Sealants are not recommended for all children. It depends on the anatomy and shape of the tooth. If you notice grooves and ridges on your child’s teeth before his or her first dental visit, make an appointment to see a dentist right away.
At What Age Are Sealants For Children First Applied?
If your toddler has teeth with grooved or lined surfaces, it is never too early to start protecting them. In fact, the sooner, the better. Indeed the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) web page on dental sealants states that It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
Does Getting Dental Sealants Hurt or Sting?
Not at all. The only thing your child might not like is having a mouth full of cotton to keep teeth surfaces as dry as possible before applying the sealant, but this takes only a few minutes. Proper application of dental sealants for children requires a thorough cleaning of the teeth before sealing so that no bacteria are sealed into the teeth. Depending on the condition and anatomy of the teeth, this may also require pumice or air abrasion. A completely dry surface is necessary for a perfect seal and Dr. Deb is meticulous about this aspect of the procedure to produce best results and the longest lasting sealant possible. Your kids are welcome to bring their iPod's, headphones or other music players to entertain and distract themselves when getting a sealant.
An Excellent Investment in Dental Health
Properly applied dental sealants for children last for years — through they do need to be checked one or twice a year. If the anatomy of your child’s teeth indicates that a sealant could be beneficial for preventing decay, cavities and other problems, there is no better investment in your child’s oral health than a dental sealant.