Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

Does Your Child Need Dental Sealants?

September 4, 2014
Posted By: Dr. Brian Matthews
Little Boy Needing Sealants | Child's Preventative Care

Does your family have a history of chronic oral health problems? Does it seem to you that some lucky people just enjoy healthy, strong teeth, making them seem impervious to cavities?

In truth, genetics plays a big part in our dental health, and if you’ve got cavity-prone teeth, there’s a good chance your child does also. One of the things we can do to level the genetic playing field is to reduce the odds of your child developing cavities by using dental sealants.

Why are Dental Sealants Necessary?

Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to healthy teeth to prevent cavities. Protecting your child’s baby teeth and keeping them in good health is essential for proper development of their permanent teeth. Dental sealants are just one tool we can use to help us achieve this goal.

We normally apply sealants on baby teeth soon after they erupt. As time goes by, the dental sealant will gradually be lost through everyday wear and tear. It will be necessary to have the sealant replaced every so often to make sure that your child’s teeth always have adequate protection.

Older children can also benefit from dental sealants. We apply the sealant to their healthy teeth during their cavity-prone years – generally pre-teens and teens – to protect them when they need it most.

How Does Dental Sealant Application Work?

We start with a thorough professional cleaning, which ensures that all tooth surfaces are clean and dry before we begin application. Next, a solution is applied to the teeth to ensure an effective bond between the sealant and tooth enamel.

We then brush each tooth with a thin layer of sealant, especially those with deep grooves and uneven surfaces. After all teeth have been treated, we use a special curing light to set the sealant. Periodic exams to check the condition of the sealant need to be performed so it can be reapplied as necessary to ensure that the teeth are adequately protected.

Sealants and Prevention Work Together

Dental sealants are very effective, but they are not a replacement for routine dental care. It is still critical for your child to receive routine preventive services like regular exams and dental cleanings at our Wilmington dental office. This is true whether or not your child is currently experiencing oral health problems. In fact, the time to take these steps is while their teeth are healthy, before problems develop.

We want to work with you to help you and your family enjoy strong, healthy teeth that last a lifetime. If you have a toddler or teen who you think may benefit from sealants, please feel free to give us a call to make a convenient appointment.





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