Preventing the development of cavities in kids is as easy as 1-2-3-4. One, make sure your child brushes her teeth twice daily. Two, minimize the sugary snacks and drinks your child eats and repeat step one every time they indulge in any of them. Make sure your child attends dental checkups at our pediatric dentist in St. Albert every six months. Four…? What’s the fourth step? Consider protecting your child’s teeth from cavities by getting dental sealants near you. Here’s an introduction to dental sealants and how they can help keep cavities at bay and help keep your dental expenses low.
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a liquid coating that the staff at our dental clinic near you can paint onto the biting surface of teeth to protect those teeth — especially grooved teeth where plaque can easily accumulate, like molars — from bacteria, plaque and tartar that can contribute to tooth decay and cavities. Once that sealant shield is in place, those bacteria, sugars, starches and food particles simply can’t touch the enamel on your kids’ teeth.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Sealants are an appropriate preventative dental treatment for people of any age (though adult molars being sealed should be free of tooth decay and fillings). Still, they are especially useful for helping kids avoid cavities while they learn good oral hygiene habits and develop their permanent teeth. Children typically begin to develop their “baby” molars at around six and then their permanent molars at around 12 years old. In a perfect world and to obtain the fullest amount of protection possible, children should receive dental sealants from six to fourteen years of age.
How are Dental Sealants Applied?
Applying dental sealants is a quick, five-step process that will protect your child’s teeth for a decade (along with occasional touch-ups if our pediatric dentist notices any weakness or damage to the sealant layer during regular checkups). Here are the steps to obtaining the protection of dental sealants from our St. Albert dentist.
1. Our dentist will carefully clean the teeth to be sealed to avoid trapping any food particles, bacteria, sugar, plaque or tartar between the sealant and the teeth enamel.
2. The next step to applying dental sealants near you is to dry each tooth to be sealed carefully in anticipation of the next step.
3. The surface of the teeth will be etched with an acid solution to help the sealant grip the surface of the teeth durably.
4. Before any sealant is applied, the teeth to be treated will be rinsed and dried thoroughly to allow the sealant to get a good grip and form a protective coat on your teeth.
5. Our dentist will use a small brush to coat a sealant layer onto the targeted teeth. The sealant will harden and cure quickly as it dries. Applying dental sealants in St. Albert can be completed in just minutes for each tooth.
There probably isn’t much you wouldn’t do to eliminate the risk of your child developing tooth decay and cavities. There’s no downside to asking our dentist near you if dental sealants are appropriate for your child and ensuring their health (not to mention the health of your pocketbook). While you’re at it, ask our dentist if you’re a good candidate for dental sealants yourself! You’re never too old to keep your teeth healthy.