Does My Child Need Sealants?

Does My Child Need Sealants?

As a parent, you make it your business to do all you can to help your child stay healthy and happy. That includes making sure they get good dental care to help protect their teeth and prevent cavities and other tooth damage.

At A to Z Dental Studio, Hiba Zakhour, DDS, and her team help parents (and kids) in Fairfax, Virginia, achieve that goal with durable dental sealants. Sealants help protect teeth, so your child can enjoy better oral health as they grow. Here’s how sealants work and when your child can benefit from them.

How sealants work

Your child’s teeth are subjected to lots of chewing and grinding, along with exposure to acids from foods and drinks. Just like your teeth, the surfaces of your child’s teeth can develop tiny fissures or cracks over time. These fissures let acids eat away at tooth enamel while also allowing decay-causing bacteria to take hold.

Dental sealants help prevent tiny cracks from forming by covering the tooth surface in a super-thin, durable coating of a special “plastic” material. The material fills in cracks and crevices that can harbor bacteria, while also providing an impermeable layer for your child’s teeth.

Applying a sealant only takes a minute or so per tooth. Sealants dry on their own or with a special light to help them harden. There’s no pain, no drilling or needles, and no downtime afterward.

When sealants are a good choice

Nobody wants to have a cavity, and that especially includes kids. Whether in an adult or “baby” tooth, cavities can cause a lot of pain, plus they can interfere with eating and even talking. Research shows cavities and tooth pain are a common cause of missed school and poor school performance. 

A lot of cavities happen on the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars. Having sealants applied before decay has a chance to set in helps protect the chewing surfaces and prevent decay-causing bacteria from getting in.

Sealants can be used in adults as well as kids, but they’re really most effective when applied before a tooth has a filling. That’s why it’s important to have sealants applied when your child is young, beginning with the appearance of their first adult (permanent) molar and continuing throughout their teen years. 

Sealants can be applied as often as your child needs them, and in many cases, they last for more than a year. At each office visit, our team will check the sealant and reapply it as needed to provide continuous protection for your child’s teeth.

Better oral health for your child

Bottom line: Every child can benefit from dental sealants, especially when they’re applied early and on a regular basis. Getting sealants during childhood can protect your child from painful cavities, as well as other types of tooth damage that occur once decay has set in.

Give your child the gift of healthy teeth. Call or book an appointment online to learn more about sealants or to schedule an office visit for your child.

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