Like adults, children need a good oral hygiene routine to protect their teeth and gums from common oral health problems, such as cavities. But, young children often struggle to reach their back teeth and hold the toothbrush at the correct angle to adequately brush the chewing surfaces. This can increase the risk of developing cavities when food and bacteria remain behind.
But, this doesn’t mean your child is bound to get cavities. There is a great tool that can help keep your child’s teeth healthy: dental sealants. Dental sealants help protect the molars by covering the chewing surfaces of these teeth.
In this blog, the providers at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, explain how dental sealants work and how they can help keep your child’s teeth strong.
How dental sealants work
Dental sealants cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, thereby giving food and bacteria fewer places to hide. Furthermore, the sealants make the surfaces flat, which can make it easier for children to brush their teeth.
Dental sealants are typically made from a composite resin material, which is brushed onto the surfaces of the molars in liquid form and hardened with a blue light. The surfaces are cleaned and texturized before the sealant is applied, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth. Since sealants don’t require drilling or invasive dental work, your child won’t need anesthesia.
Sealants usually last for several years, and they can be a tool to help prevent oral health problems, such as cavities.
Does my child need sealants?
Dental sealants can help most children. A child is eligible for sealants when their first molars erupt, which is usually around age 6. That said, you need to know that sealants aren’t a substitute for good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Our dentists recommend that you bring your child in for a checkup twice a year, starting six months after the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday. If you notice symptoms of a cavity, or if your child complains of tooth pain or other symptoms, give us a call to schedule an appointment.
If you want to see if dental sealants can help your child, we can give your child an oral exam and discuss your options.
For more information about dental sealants and preventive dental care for your child, call 703-498-2440 or book an appointment online with Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today.