There are many things that you and your dentist can do to help your children have strong, healthy teeth; one of those things is using dental sealants for children.
Dental sealants are a thin coating made from special plastic that is applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth in the back of the mouth. The back teeth are the ones that are most likely to show signs of decay, so it is important to take this extra step to help protect them. Sealants help keep food particles and germs from getting stuck in the grooves of these teeth, which can cause decay.
The sealants are usually applied as soon as your child's permanent molars come in between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. Once those molars have erupted, it is a good idea to have your dentist apply the sealants as soon as possible.
Sealants are applied at the dentist's office, and the procedure is often fast and painless. There is no drilling or removal of any part of the tooth structure during the process. First, the tooth is cleaned and dried, and then coated with a special gel. When the gel dries, the tooth is then brushed with sealant resin, which is then also allowed to dry. Sealants can be white, clear, or slightly tinted to match the colour of the tooth, and are not typically noticed when you laugh, talk, or smile.
These sealants often last for 5 to 10 years and should be checked by your child's dental professional when you take them in for regular visits. Using dental sealants for children, combined with good oral hygiene habits, healthy eating, and regular professional dental checks are a great way to help keep your child's teeth healthy and strong throughout their lives.