What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the biting and chewing surface of the molars. They provide a protective barrier that prevents 80% of tooth decay for 2 years, and up to 50% of decay for up to 4 years.
What’s the difference between a sealant and a filling?
A dental filling is used to treat a cavity that has already appeared on a tooth.
Dental sealants are designed to prevent cavities from forming in the first place.
Dental sealants are markedly cheaper and quicker to apply than sealants, and offers years of protection. It’s better to prevent problems than to treat them, as once cavities start to form they can multiply or worsen over time.
When can children get sealants?
It’s a great idea for children to get dental sealants when their first permanent molars appear. Children can have particular difficulty cleaning these teeth as they aren’t used to brushing, so this will keep the teeth protected until they can take better care of themselves.
The first molars appear around 6, and the second molars appear around 12. The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, appear around 18-21, and are usually not treated with sealants.
If my child has sealants, can they still get cavities?
Unfortunately, yes. The team at Fabulous Smiles Dental Care will do everything they can to ensure your child’s sealants are effective and long-lasting, but there’s only so much they can do. Your child still needs to brush their teeth, and avoid cavity forming foods such as candy and sugary drinks.
Sealants will protect against 50-80% of cavities — the rest is up to you!
Are sealants obvious?
Sealants are clear, or white, or slightly tinted. They can be matched closely to the shade of surrounding teeth. In any case, they’re not very noticeable when a child talks, smiles, or eat, if at all.
If you’d like to protect your child’s teeth from cavities, contact the Harbor City dental team at Fabulous Smiles Dental Care to book an appointment today.