Sealants To Prevent Tooth Decay

This simple preventive measure could protect your child’s smile from decay.

When it comes to caring for your child’s smile it’s important that your child is limiting sugar and also properly brushing and flossing their teeth. However, despite best oral care practices, our Charleston, SC, family dentist Dr. Denise Stone often notices that back teeth are the hardest to keep clean. As a result, molars are more susceptible to cavities. One way to reduce the risk for cavities is to place dental sealants.

What is a dental sealant?

Just as you use an umbrella to protect yourself from getting wet when it rains, a sealant is a plastic coating that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth to protect these susceptible areas from decay.

How long can sealants protect teeth?

The CDC states that sealants are up to 80 percent effective at preventing cavities in molars within the first two years after they’ve been applied. They still offer up to 50 percent protection against decay up to four years. With the proper care, some sealants can last (and provide effective protection) for up to 10 years.

How is a sealant placed?

We know that when it comes to getting your child in the dentist’s chair, it’s probably the last thing they want to do; however, as our Charleston, SC, family dentist will assure you, placing sealants is easy and painless. In fact, they don’t even need to come in for a separate appointment to get them. We can easily place sealants during your child’s next cleaning. Once the tooth is cleaned, we will apply a special liquid to roughen the tooth so the plastic coating sticks to the tooth (don’t worry; this doesn’t hurt!).

Once the liquid is rinsed off and the tooth is dry it’s time to paint the special tooth-colored or clear coating over the chewing surfaces. Then a light is directed over the tooth to harden the coating directly to the tooth. We will place the first sealants around 6-7 years old when your child’s first set of molars erupt. The second set of molars usually come in around 11-12 years old and we can also place sealants on these teeth as soon as they emerge.

Are you looking for a family dentist in Charleston, SC, that can place dental sealants to protect your child’s developing smile? If you want to learn more about sealants and whether they are right for your little one, then call Stone Family Dentistry at (843) 556-6566 to schedule a no-risk consultation with Dr. Stone.

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