Parents are always looking for ways to ensure their children have the best possible start in life. When it comes to dental health, one of the best things you can do is to educate your child on the importance of oral hygiene and help them to develop good habits from an early age. However, even with the best oral hygiene habits, there are some areas of the teeth that are difficult to clean and are more prone to decay. This is where sealants come in.
Read below or contact our Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY office to learn more!
What are Sealants?
Dental sealants are one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay in children. A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars), where decay occurs most often. The sealant bonds into the pits and grooves of the teeth, creating a barrier that keeps out plaque and food particles. Sealants can last for several years, but they need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
How Sealants are Applied
Sealants are easy to apply and only take a few minutes.
- First, the teeth that will receive the sealants are cleaned and dried.
- Then, a sticky gel is placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to help the sealant adhere.
- Next, the sealant material is applied to the teeth and hardened with a special light.
The entire process is quick and painless and does not require any anesthesia.
Benefits of Sealants
Sealants are a worthwhile investment for several reasons.
- First, they can help prevent tooth decay. Sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth from the bacteria that cause decay.
- Second, sealants can save parents money in the long run. By preventing decay, sealants can help avoid the need for more expensive dental treatments down the road.
- Third, sealants are quick and easy to apply, and they last for many years. This makes them a convenient way to help protect children’s teeth.
- Finally, sealants give your child the opportunity to start their smile care journey on the right track. When they are still learning proper brushing and flossing habits, this extra help can ensure they maintain optimal oral health.
Every parent should consider sealants for their child’s smile!
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the world. While it affects people of all ages, children are often the most vulnerable as they are still learning the proper techniques for brushing, flossing, and generally taking care of their teeth. Tooth decay can lead to numerous dental problems—including pain, infection, and even tooth loss. While primary teeth will not be around forever, the hygiene routine, habits, and attitudes that children learn now will last a lifetime.
While dental sealants are one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay, other efforts must be made to ensure the longevity of the barrier, and the health of the teeth in general. Here are some tips for preventing tooth decay in children:
- Encourage proper dental hygiene habits from an early age. This means teaching children how to brush and floss properly.
- Make sure children are getting enough fluoride. This can be done by using fluoridated toothpaste, getting fluoride treatment at our office, and/or drinking fluoridated water.
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks. This includes candy, cookies, cake, soda, and fruit juice.
- Encourage a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is best.
- Make sure children are seeing the dentist regularly. Children should see us every six months for a cleaning and examination. During this time, we will examine the teeth for signs of decay and determine if sealants need to be reapplied.