The biggest threat to the health of your child’s smile is tooth decay. Although cavities are preventable, 42% of children under 11 years old have had at least one cavity. Despite the best brushing and flossing habits at home, it may not be enough to save your child’s teeth from decay. You can give them an added layer of protection using dental sealants. Your pediatric dentist in Amherst can quickly apply the protective barrier to their molars to seal out cavity-causing bacteria.
What are Dental Sealants?
Did you know 90% of cavities form on the chewing surfaces of the back molars? They contain small crevices that are hard to clean with a toothbrush. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped in the grooves, slowly eating away at your child’s enamel until a cavity develops.
The enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the underlying dentin. The dentin contains tiny tubes connecting to the tooth’s nerve center called the pulp. If decay extends beyond the enamel and dentin, it can infect the pulp. Your child will need an invasive treatment to save their tooth.
A dental sealant reduces the risk of tooth decay in cavity-prone areas, like the back molars. In fact, research shows they can reduce decay by as much as 81%. The plastic-based material coats the chewing surface of a tooth to provide a protective barrier between the enamel and harmful bacteria. The sealant in clear in color, so no one will notice it is there while your child gains its protection.
What is the Process Like?
Dental sealants are recommended for children 6 to 14 years of age during routine preventive appointments. The process to apply them is pain-free and only takes a couple of minutes. After your child’s teeth are cleaned, a weak acid is applied to their enamel to create a secure bond with the sealant and their tooth. The clear coating is placed on the molars and hardened with a special light. Your child’s sealed teeth are protected for an average of 10 years; however, if a sealant is damaged before then, their dentist can easily replace it.
Protect Your Child’s Smile from Tooth Decay
Dental sealants are an excellent addition to your efforts to keep your child’s smile cavity-free. For maximum protection from cavity-causing bacteria, it is best to:
- Brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Limit their consumption of sugar.
- Visit their dentist twice a year for preventive care.
Ask your pediatric dentist about the powerful protection of dental sealants during your child’s next routine visit. You can help safeguard their smile from tooth decay.
About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC
We are committed to providing child-friendly dental care to nurture healthy, beautiful smiles. We focus on prevention to keep our patient’s teeth and gums healthy. If it is time for your child’s next cleaning and checkup, ask us about the benefits of dental sealants. Schedule their appointment today.