Get the Facts on Sealants
Dental sealants consist of a non-toxic plastic coating that adheres to the grooves on the chewing surface of teeth. Sealants are applied to premolars and molars. Applying sealants takes mere minutes, and can be done after a thorough dental cleaning that removes all bacteria and tartar. Our dental hygienist applies the sealant, which starts out as a liquid but quickly hardens after a few minutes. Once placed, you cannot feel sealants.
Why should my child get sealants?
Sealants provide a barrier against bacteria—the building block of tooth decay. Children often do not possess the cognitive abilities to thoroughly brush their teeth. They also tend to consume sugar, which makes them at risk of developing cavities. Sealants are not meant to replace routine brushing and flossing but are an added barrier against the threat of tooth decay.
Do sealants actually work?
Yes! A report by the Centers for Disease Control found that school-age children (defined as being between the ages of 6 and 11) had nearly triple the number of cavities as children who had not received sealants. Any child can benefit from having sealants placed on their teeth—especially kids who still are learning how to brush their teeth, have difficulty maintaining a good regimen of oral hygiene, or have specific teeth they have problems reaching with their toothbrush. These “problem” teeth—usually molars and bicuspids located at the back of the mouth—can become breeding grounds for tooth decay. For example, children can have difficulty cleaning permanent molars that just have erupted from the gum line often have deep grooves.
Typically, sealants are not recommended for baby teeth. Pediatric dentists in Lake Forest usually recommend sealants be applied to permanent teeth once they erupt from the gum line.
How long do sealants last?
Expect your child’s sealants to remain intact and effective for three to five years. It is best to have your child avoid chewing gum, or eating chewy or sticky candy, as it could dislodge or remove the sealant. Routine checkups are recommended because we can assess the sealants and ensure they remain in place. Sealants that come out can be replaced at your child’s next visit to our Lake Forest family dental office.
Your child can prolong the effective lifespan of a sealant treatment by learning good habits of oral hygiene—such as brushing twice each day and flossing daily. Parents also should discourage their children from starting or continuing negative habits, such as using their teeth as tools or chewing inanimate objects such as fingernails, ice cubes, and pencils.
Dental Sealants for Kids in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
To learn more about sealants or any of the other treatments available as part of the program of preventive care at Lake Forest Smiles, please call (847) 234-4800. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have provided elite dental care to the areas of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.