Sealants help prevent cavities before they even begin!
Most children will develop at least one cavity prior to developing their adult teeth. This is the case for a couple of reasons.
First, the natural shape of a child’s teeth are slightly different than those of adult teeth. When the molars first start growing (typically around the age of 5 or 6), they have deep crevices that are very thin. Unfortunately, most toothbrushes cannot get into these crevices, so bacteria is able to hide and multiply.
Second, the typical child’s eating habits have also have a negative effect on their teeth. Most children will snack throughout the day, and these snacks are rarely healthy. Additionally, most children begin brushing their own teeth around the age of 5 or 6, but few have actually been taught proper technique or follow through with using the proper technique. Though their teeth may be smaller, children still need to brush for two minutes, twice a day. Creating a strong oral routine during the early stages of development can help ensure a future of healthy smiles.
How do sealants work?
A sealant is a material that is applied to the child’s teeth. The material bonds to the tooths enamel and fills in those crevices that we were discussing above. This creates a plastic-like barrier around your child’s teeth that prevents bacteria from hiding.
How is it applied and does it hurt?
Applicaiton is simple, and the entire procedure is painless. There is no drilling, no loud noises, and no scary equipment. The dentist or dental hygienist simply applies and etching fluid to your childs teeth and uses a light to harden the material, once it has settled.
Is there anything that my child has to do after the sealants have been applied?
Your child does still have to brush twice a day and floss before bed. You should also begin having your child brush his or her own teeth around the age of two (2) with your assistance. This helps foster proper technique from an early age. By the time that your child has turned five (5), they should be able to brush their own teeth with proper technique.
Additionally, you should monitor your child’s diet. A diet rich in calcium is necessary for developing strong teeth and fortifying the structure of the face and jaws. Leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of calcium as are dairy and non-dairy milks (if calcium has been added or is present in the original source) and yogurt.
You should also discourage snacks that are high in sugars (especially refined sugars) or starches.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child, please give us a call at 816–452–1888 or use our online appointment form.