Many parents have heard about dental sealants, but aren’t exactly sure what they are or if their child needs them. Dental sealants are a protective coating placed on teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities. These are normally placed on the back teeth or molars, over the deep and narrow grooves that are difficult to reach with normal brushing.
The molars are the primary teeth used for chewing food, and therefore have the most contact with food particles in the mouth. Tooth sealants prevent food particles from entering these deep grooves in the molars, and help keep out oral bacteria.
Are Dental Sealants Appropriate for Children?
Children can benefit greatly from dental sealants. While tooth sealants are typically placed on the permanent, adult teeth, children with a history of cavities and plaque may require dental sealants to prevent widespread tooth decay. Adult molars can start erupting at around age 6, and many children have difficulties brushing their back teeth correctly. A dental sealant on these teeth can help children maintain a great smile.
Other variables can come into play as well. Some children may have deeper grooves in their molars than others, making cavities more likely. Children who have had large amounts of plaque buildup on previous dental visits or who have little access to fluoride may also make good candidates for dental sealants. Dental sealants provide excellent protection for your child’s teeth with minimal discomfort.