Dental sealants are one of the best ways to prevent cavities from forming. They consist of a layer of plastic resin. This resin is applied to your child’s teeth in a liquid form. Then, after it’s applied, the resin is activated with a UV light, and it hardens into a protective plastic barrier.
This barrier prevents cavities by protecting your child’s enamel from direct contact with food particles, bacteria, and oral acid. Because these particles cannot touch the enamel directly, they are unable to damage the enamel and cause tooth decay.
At Cavity Patrol Pediatric Dentistry, we offer sealants for kids of all ages. Dr. Julia and Dr. Chun can ensure your child’s mouth stays healthy and cavity-free. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.
Dental sealants are almost always covered by dental insurance for kids under the age of 18.
Dental sealants are usually applied after a six-month cleaning and oral exam. Your child’s hygienist will scrape away plaque and bacteria, buff their teeth with a high-powered toothbrush, and floss their teeth. Then, Dr. Julia or Dr. Chun will examine their mouth and check for signs of decay.
Once their mouth has been cleaned, Dr. Julia or Dr. Chun will prepare the teeth for sealants using a special type of acid. This acid roughens the enamel slightly without damaging it. This is done to ensure the liquid resin can bond tightly to your child’s tooth.
When the tooth has been prepared with dental sealants, Dr. Chun or Dr. Julia will apply a layer of resin to the tooth, and then activate it using a UV light. This hardens the resin, sealing the tooth. This process will be repeated for each tooth that is being treated.
Dental sealants can last anywhere from 3-10 years depending on how well they’re placed, and the oral hygiene habits of your child. They are very long-lasting, so they’re a great option for kids of all ages.
Some things can shorten the lifespan of sealants. Regularly chewing very hard foods like ice, nuts, and popcorn kernels with the rear teeth can cause them to wear down more quickly.
Your child should also get a night guard if they grind their teeth at night, as grinding can damage sealants and also cause premature wear and tear to their enamel.
There is no need for your child to avoid eating or drinking directly after treatment. After their sealants are applied, they can resume their normal day-to-day diet right away.
However, there are some foods your child should avoid to keep their sealants intact, such as very hard foods like popcorn kernels, ice, and jawbreakers. Very gummy and sticky foods like taffy, gummi bears, and Starburst should also be limited or avoided, as they can cause sealants to fail prematurely.
1 in 5 children between the age of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.