Dental Sealants Helps Protect Your Child’s Teeth
A dental sealant is a thin coating that your dentist or hygienist will paint on the biting surfaces of your child’s back teeth. Sealants help to prevent tooth decay by sealing off the deep grooves that are often too narrow and too deep for their toothbrushes to clean. Sealants cover up the pits to avoid letting bacteria get into them and they smooth out the surfaces so it is easier to keep them clean.
Your child’s first set of permanent molars will erupt around age six. We recommend having sealants placed between the ages of six and 14, the time when they are especially prone to getting cavities.
Though we want kids to learn to manage their own oral hygiene, some children don’t have the coordination yet to properly clean these teeth. (Ideally, they should be brushing independently for at least two minutes, twice daily.) Six-year molars are statistically the most restored teeth in the mouth for this reason; they are the first permanent teeth to erupt so they have to stick around the longest, and they are present during the most cavity prone period of their life. Sealant can help keep the teeth healthy and avoid problems.
Sealants can last up to 10 years, but since they are a thin plastic coating it is possible that they can chip or break off. Drs. Thomas and Fitzgerald and your hygienist will check them at your regular dental cleanings to make sure they are still in good shape.
Click Here to view the most recent guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. For additional information, go to www.aapd.org.
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