At What Age Are Dental Sealants Most Effective?

One of the most common dental problems in kids is tooth decay. However, all parents need to understand that cavities are preventable. Parents should take their kids for regular dental checkups and encourage them to brush and floss their teeth daily. Dental sealants are another effective way to protect teeth against decay.


What Are Dental Sealants?

Despite the importance of dental sealants, many parents do not know much about them. They do not know whether sealants are safe, how they work, and how they protect kids’ teeth.

Dentists apply a thin plastic coating on their patients’ teeth to cover the chewing surface. The coating bonds into the pits and indentations of the teeth, usually the back teeth. This results in the formation of a layer that protects the tooth enamel.

Brushing teeth thoroughly and properly will remove plaque and food particles from smooth surfaces. However, your toothbrush may not reach inside the pits and crevices of the teeth. Sealants protect such areas of the teeth from decay by keeping food particles and plaque out.


Candidates for Dental Sealants

Due to the risk of developing tooth decay in the nooks and crannies of the molars and premolars, kids and teenagers are good candidates for sealants. That said, adults without fillings or decay in their premolars and molars can find value in dental sealants.


Best Time to Get Dental Sealants

Usually, the application of dental sealant as soon as the permanent molars and premolars emerge would be ideal. The sealants should protect their teeth through the years when they are most cavity-prone, usually between the ages of six and 14.

In some situations, this sealant is suitable for baby teeth, for example, in cases where the teeth have deep grooves or depressions. Baby teeth play an important role in holding the right spacing so the permanent teeth fit correctly. Therefore, keeping them healthy will prevent your child from losing them early.


Why Kids Need Dental Sealants

It is important to prevent cavities early. If your child has cavities in his baby teeth, chances are that his permanent teeth will have cavities as well. Essentially, it will lead to lifelong dental health problems. To set your child up for success, you need to prevent cavities before they start. This is where dental sealants come in handy.

Dental cavities do not happen overnight. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar in food people eat, leaving behind a powerful acid that gradually weakens tooth enamel. A dental sealant placed on the child’s teeth chewing surfaces will fill the deep grooves that are difficult to clean properly when brushing.

Dental sealants are ideal for kids aged between five and 14 years. The moment your child’s first permanent molars appear, you need to ask your dentist about dental sealants. The dentist can apply another set of sealants when your child gets his second set of permanent molars, which usually happens between the age of 11 and 14 years.

To learn more about dental sealants, visit Reaves Dental at our office in New Hartford, New York. Call 315-736-0139 today to schedule an appointment.

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