Take a moment to brush your molars with the tip of your tongue. Feel all those little nooks and crannies? Food and bacteria love to burrow in them as if settling down for a long winter’s nap. They’re not sleeping, though. They’re working hard to destroy tooth enamel.
Little teeth are especially vulnerable. But just like a warm coat can protect your child from harsh, cold weather, sealants can guard her teeth against harmful elements. Here’s how.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants place a protective barrier between bad bacteria and tooth enamel. They are made of a thin, plastic-like coating that fills in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Pediatric dentists typically apply them to primary and permanent molars soon after they’ve erupted.
Sealants on permanent molars lower the risk of cavities by 80 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. They continue to protect teeth for several years after application. In fact, a sealant can last as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants along with brushing, flossing, a nutritious diet and regular dental visits will help your child achieve a happy, healthy smile.
How do dentists apply dental sealants?
The application process is easy and completely painless. Sealants are simply “painted” on a clean, dry tooth surface and then hardened with a special light. The protective coating is virtually invisible. Your child will be able to eat following his appointment.
Most insurance plans cover the cost of dental sealants. Ask your benefits provider or talk to us about a payment plan. Treatment is affordable, especially when you consider how sealants protect against cavities.
Children of any age can benefit from sealants, but dental professionals agree the earlier they get them, the better. Give your child the gift of great oral health this holiday season. Seal the deal with sealants.