Dental Sealants: Save Your Child’s Teeth (and Your Wallet)

You already know the basics of keeping your kiddo’s teeth healthy: Brush and floss twice a day, keep the sugary food and drinks to a minimum, and diligently keep those scheduled checkups.

Boy eating cotton candy

In a perfect world doing these things would guarantee your child a cavity-free mouth forever, but we all know this isn’t always the case. Plaque is terribly stubborn, and quickly builds in the natural pits and grooves of your child’s molars (the flat “chewing” teeth in the back of the mouth) eventually leading to cavities. Even with regular brushing and flossing, cleaning these grooves can be difficult and sometimes impossible.

This is where you can be proactive! Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted on the surface of the teeth. It fills in the tiny pits and grooves that are otherwise left open and unprotected, and seals out the food and bacteria that cause cavities to form. This coating lasts years and better yet, the procedure is much cheaper than filling a cavity, which is why so many parents are now considering it an essential to maintaining their child’s oral health.

 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, has this to say about sealants: “Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in — before decay attacks the teeth. The first permanent molars — called “6 year molars” — come in between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars — “12 year molars” — come in when a child is between 11 and 14 years old.”

child at dentist getting teeth brushed

If you’re wondering what a dental sealant procedure is like, you should know that it’s quick, painless, and often takes only one visit. The teeth are first cleaned and conditioned, after which the sealant is applied and dried with a special light. Your child can eat immediately following the procedure. Further questions regarding this service can be directed towards Ence Dentistry, your trusted family dentist located right here in St. George Utah.