Improving Your Dental Care

Three Common Questions About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are frequently recommended by dentists for children's teeth. But many adults have never heard of dental sealants prior to their child's dentist bringing them up, and you may have some questions you want answered before signing up for the procedure. If you're curious about how dental sealants work and what they can do for your child, here are answers to some of the most common questions about dental sealants.

How Do They Work?

Dental sealants provide a layer of protection between your child's teeth and everything else in their mouth. But what are they and how exactly do they work?

The simplest explanation here is that dental sealants use the same material as dental fillings. Except instead of filling a hole made in a tooth by a cavity, a dental sealant is a thinner layer of filling material that's applied over the top of the tooth. Dental sealants, like fillings for cavities, match the color of teeth perfectly and aren't noticeable to the naked eye. However, what they can do is provide a non-organic layer that will protect your child's teeth from developing cavities by physically preventing bacteria responsible for cavities from harming the tooth itself.

Should You Bother With Them for Baby Teeth?

If your child still has all their baby teeth or a mix of adult and baby teeth, you might think that applying dental sealants to the baby teeth isn't worth the trouble. But the reality is that it's still quite helpful.

First of all, it will save your child unnecessary pain and you from unwanted dental bills. A baby tooth cavity still needs to be treated, so preventing those teeth from being damaged is a good idea. Also, your child needs those teeth to act as guidance for the adult teeth moving in behind them so the adult teeth don't become extremely crooked. So protecting baby teeth is very important.

Is Your Child Guaranteed To Not Get Cavities?

Dental sealants are not a guarantee that your child won't get cavities, but they can potentially help a lot. Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, which are the most likely to be exposed to food and thus tend to develop more plaque. Putting sealants there will help to prevent this from happening. Your child will still need to brush their teeth and should still avoid excess sugar, but the sealants will help your child regardless.

Contact a family dentist to learn more.