Your back molars have pits and grooves. Even if your child is brushing and flossing consistently, it can be hard to clean those tiny pits and grooves in their mouth. Food, plaque, and bacteria can start to build up in those grooves and eventually cause tooth decay. Dentists will start putting a sealant on your child’s teeth between 6 to 12 years old. But do you know what a sealant is and how your child should take care of it? Smile Reef delves into dental sealants further below.
What is a Dental Sealant Used For?
A sealant is a hard plastic coating that the dentist will apply to the back molars. This will create a barrier that can help protect your child’s teeth from acid and plaque. Dental sealants help to reduce the risk of cavities happening over time. When your child receives the sealant it is a very simple and painless process. There is no drilling or numbing. Dental sealants will last 2 to 5 years and the dentist can check it at regular appointments. Having a sealant on your child’s teeth is a painless and very effective way to help protect their teeth.
How Do You Make Dental Sealants Last Longer?
A sealant is plastic, so it can break or fall off if it is not properly taken care of or maintained. The longer you can make the sealant last, the longer it will work to prevent cavities. You still want to make sure your child brushes all their teeth – even the back molars with the sealant on. Use a soft, bristle toothbrush, brush the sides and the tops just as your child would their other teeth that don’t have a sealant on, and don’t forget to floss. Even though the sealant is there to protect your child’s teeth, if they are not taking care of them, they could still get gum disease from plaque build-up.
Can You Eat Fruit Snacks & Popcorn with Dental Sealants?
It does take a few days for the sealant to conform entirely to the shape of the teeth. When it does seal you don’t treat it any different than your other teeth. It won’t interfere with anything like eating, drinking, or chewing. You want to just be aware that eating hard, sticky, or chewy food such as popcorn and fruit snacks could cause chips or a break in the sealant.
What Happens if a Dental Sealant Fails?
A dentist will check the sealant every time they go in for a check-up. The sealant is usually guaranteed for three years. But if you do notice a problem with your child’s sealant, then take them to the dentist and have the dentist take a look at it. A dentist can usually reapply or repair the sealant if it is within three years.
Getting a sealant on your child’s back molars is a great way to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you need to set up an appointment and have a dentist look at your child’s teeth, then give Smile Reef a call. We can get you set up and answer any questions you may have about your child’s teeth.