Why Do My Kids Really Need Dental Sealants?

Pediatric Dentistry

We’ve had the conversation with many parents about placing dental sealants on their children’s teeth. And we’ve seen your reactions ranging anywhere from, “You’re the experts. Sounds good to me!” to “So you guys are just doing this because my insurance will pay for it, right…?”

But in most cases, the patients and the parents come into that conversation with just a vague understanding of what dental sealants actually are and how they can help. And when it comes down to it, we still highly recommend dental sealants whether they’re covered by insurance or not. 

Today, we’re going to explain why dental sealants can be great for your children. First, a bit about what dental sealants actually are…

Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth in the grooves. They are normally placed on back teeth (e.g. molars and pre-molars). 

The dental sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth to prevent tooth decay. 

Why is this plastic coating important?

Food, plaque, and bacteria can build up in the crevices of your teeth and cause tooth decay. But with a combined approach of dental sealants, good dental hygiene (brushing and flossing techniques), and healthy dietary choices, we can help our children take the best care of their teeth. 

Scientific studies have shown that sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay, which can give our kiddos an extra layer of protection. 

How should dental sealants be maintained?

We recommend that sealants should be placed on permanent molars as soon as they emerge above the gum line (~6-12 years-old). After placement, sealants should be monitored by your Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) at your regular cleaning and exam visits. 

But more often than that, you can help aid in the protection that sealants provide by making sure you’re practicing good brushing and flossing, as well as choosing healthy foods.

Are there any dietary restrictions after placing sealants?

There are no major dietary changes we recommend once sealants are placed. However, certain foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can cause the sealants to break and pull off. 

Avoiding these certain foods, maintaining a healthy diet, limiting sugary snacks, and scheduling your regular dental checkups are the best things you can do to ensure your child has a beautiful and healthy smile!

As always, if you have any questions about your treatment or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to give our office a call (614-878-3636) or send us an email (mike@monfredifamilydental.com)

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