Dental Sealants: How They Protect Your Child’s Teeth From Cavities

Save teeth with dental sealants.

Dental sealants can provide your child’s teeth protection from cavities.

As a parent, you have a lot to worry about when it comes to your kids. If you are looking for a little more piece of mind to help keep their teeth protected from cavities, ask the staff at Must Love Kids about dental sealants.

What are dental sealants?

Many parents may not have heard about dental sealants. A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating painted on the chewing surface of teeth to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. A dental sealant is normally painted on molars, or the back teeth, which are often harder for children to brush properly. A dental sealant acts as an extra layer of protection for teeth and helps to keep out plaque and bacteria. 

Dental sealants are usually clear in color, or tinted white, and cannot be seen when smiling. Children will sometimes report that a tooth with a dental sealant feels different when they run their tongue across it at first, but over time, there is no way for you, or your child, to tell that a dental sealant was applied to their teeth.

What are the benefits of dental sealants?

Since tooth brushing can be difficult for some children, especially to reach to the back of their mouth and clean their molars properly, your dentist may recommend using dental sealants to help protect your child’s molars. The dental sealant is applied to all of the chewing surfaces of the molars, protecting the tooth’s surface from tooth decay, which causes cavities. The sealant forms a barrier over the tooth, essentially making it stronger and more durable.

How old does my child have to be to get dental sealants?

Since dental sealants are placed on the molars, your child’s molars must have come in completely. A child’s first set of molars comes in around the age of six, while the second set of molars comes in around age twelve.

Do dentists recommend dental sealants?

The short answer is yes, many dentists recommend dental sealants for children because, according to the CDC, dental sealants can protect up to 80% of cavities for up to two years after the sealant is applied and up to 50% of cavities for up to four years after applied, as long as a thorough routine dental care routine is followed. 

For children who have a hard time brushing their teeth, or those who are prone to cavities, dental sealants are recommended to help prevent cavities. It is better to have a dental sealant provide an extra layer of protection than to have to fill a cavity on your child’s tooth, as cavities weaken the tooth’s natural structure. And we all know that teeth without cavities are better for your child’s overall health.

A dentist will often recommend dental sealants on top of a fluoride treatment for children. This is because the dental sealant helps protect the back teeth, while a fluoride treatment can help with boosting the effectiveness of the enamel, or outside layer, of the tooth.

But what about BPA exposure?

While the material that makes up a dental sealant contains bisphenol A, or BPA, parents shouldn’t worry about your child getting a sealant. The amount of BPA a child is exposed to when they get a dental sealant is less than a child would encounter during a day at the park or just walking down the street and breathing in air.

How are dental sealants applied?

Once you and your dentist have decided that dental sealants are right for your child, you might be wondering how the dental sealants are applied. First, your dentist will give the tooth a thorough cleaning. The tooth is then rinsed off and dried. After that, the dental sealant is painted on the tooth’s surface. A UV light may be used to cure, or set, the dental sealant, allowing it to form a tight protective bond on the tooth. That’s all there is to it! The procedure is simple, painless, and doesn’t take much time at all, so your little one should be able to sit through it without any issues.

I’m interested in dental sealants for my child. What should I do?

The first step is to make an appointment at Must Love Kids dental and talk with our staff. After our team gives your child a full evaluation, you can discuss the best course of treatment for your child.