The Benefit of Sealant for your Kids

You, parents, might be doing a great job in teaching your child how to properly brush their teeth and floss; but it’s not very easy to clean some teeth in the oral cavity – particularly the molars.  

Teeth in the most posterior part of the mouth are called molars. It is used primarily for chewing. The structure of our molars have a lot grooves, which is a perfect place for food particles to accumulate. Molars are very irregular… some have shallow grooves but some have deep grooves. It is why a dental sealant is often recommended for children’s newly erupted teeth.

Dental sealant is placed on the chewing surface of the permanent molars to help protect it from bacteria and acids that lead to tooth decay. It seals the grooves to prevent food from accumulating onto the grooves. These grooves can be deep and narrow that even the single bristle of a toothbrush wouldn’t be able to remove trapped food particles.  

That is why it is highly recommended for a six-year old child to see a dentist when the first permanent molar has erupted.

How are dental sealants placed?

  1. The tooth is cleaned by your dentist or hygienist with a paste and a rotating brush. It is then washed and dried.
  2. An acidic solution will be placed in the chewing surface of the tooth for a few seconds to enhance retention of the sealant material. Then, it is washed with water again and dried.
  3. Dental sealant material is then placed in the grooves and light-cure apparatus is used to harden the material just like dental composite restorations.

Dental sealants are proven to be effective since 1970’s in protecting the teeth from tooth decay. It can last for many years but can be reapplied when needed. However, remember that dental sealants can also prevent tooth decay in the chewing surface; so, don’t miss out on your child’s fluoride treatment as it can prevent tooth decay in all surfaces of the teeth.

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