During a 6 month check-up, ask your pediatric dentist about dental sealants and how they can prevent cavities. In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves in their teeth – especially those molars in the back of their mouths. When a sealant (made of a hardened plastic resin material) is applied, it is bonded into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that a toothbrush can’t reach and clean, which aids in preventing tooth decay. Think of dental sealants as a rain coat, keeping the bacteria and acids in foods from settling into the teeth, just like a rain coat prevents people from getting wet.
Generally, the procedure of applying a sealant takes just one visit, and all normal activities can occur directly after the appointment. At routine dental checkups, the pediatric dentist will ensure the sealants do not need repair or reapplication. With sealants, children should still continue to brush and floss daily, as these sealants do not completely protect from them cavities.
If your child has trouble brushing well, sealants may be an option to consider. The best way to know for sure is to speak with your pediatric dentist to determine if sealants are the best option for your child.