Dental sealants are a preventive dentistry treatment that can help protect against dental decay. It takes time for kids to develop great dental hygiene habits, and little ones tend to favor foods that are sweet, sticky, and chewy.
These conditions can lead to dental decay and explain why kids have higher rates of dental cavities than adults. Dental sealants help protect your child’s teeth from decay as they perfect their brushing and flossing techniques.
Dental sealants are made from a special plastic resin. Dr. Petruzzi cleans and dries the tooth before painting an acidic gel onto the surface to prepare the tooth for the sealant material.
The gel is removed after a few seconds, and the tooth is rinsed and dried before the plastic resin is painted onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars. A special light hardens the sealant material and completes the process.
Once the resin hardens, it “fills in” the tiny crevices and fissures of the molars, preventing food, plaque, and bacteria from sticking to the surfaces where cavities are more likely to develop. Your child will be able to eat, speak, and brush normally, but those biting surfaces will remain protected as long as the sealant is in place.
The material used to create dental sealants is durable. Once hardened, sealants can withstand normal chewing and biting forces for a long time.
Your child may get several years of protection from dental sealants. Dr. Petruzzi checks the sealants during each dental exam, and once they begin to wear away, he’ll advise you on whether a new application is needed.
Sealants are often worn between the ages of 6-14. Research compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that kids who don’t have dental sealants experience nearly three times more cavities than those who do have sealants applied between the ages of 6-11.
Dental sealants can also be a great option for kids with developmental disabilities or those who have severe dental phobias. Sealants protect the biting surfaces of a child’s molars from decay when there are issues with sustaining optimal oral hygiene.
If you’d like to learn more about the role dental sealants can play in your child’s dental health and wellness, call the office to set up a visit. Online booking is also an option and takes little time to complete.