Pediatric Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth from Cavities

Pediatric Dental Sealants - East Honolulu, HI

Posted on Jan 30, 2018 by Dr. Rohinton J. Patel

A tooth under a protective domeDental sealants are a protective plastic coating applied to the biting surfaces of a person's teeth. The plastic coating protects the fissures and grooves on the teeth, which is where food particles can commonly get stuck. By sealing these issues away, a dentist can protect a patient’s teeth from cavities.

Many people can benefit from getting dental sealants placed, but it is an especially effective part of preventative pediatric dentistry and the fight against tooth decay. The team at our East Honolulu, HI practice would like to consider how dental sealants can benefit your child.

Designed for Molars and Premolars

If you look in the mirror and open your mouth, you’ll see the grooves and fissures on the teeth in the back of your mouth. These are the molars and premolars. Dental sealants are made to protect these teeth from cavities.

Early Protection for Permanent Teeth

Dental sealants are not placed on baby teeth but rather on a person’s permanent teeth. When sealants are placed on the permanent teeth of young patients, they help prevent cavities during a crucial time in a child’s development.

Early cavity protection could help prevent cavity formation for many years to come, and ensure better dental health well into a young person’s golden years.

What Age Can a Child Receive Dental Sealants?

Pediatric dental sealants can be placed as early as 6 years old, depending on the emergence of the permanent teeth. Usually children get dental sealants placed between the ages of 6 and 14.

Do Dental Sealants Hurt?

No, not at all.

Dental sealants are thin and cover the cusps of the molars and premolars. The procedure is pain-free, and the sealants won’t affect your ability to bite and chew. The material used has no flavor or odor either, so they won’t leave a strange taste in the mouth.

Why Choose Sealants Over Dental Fillings

It’s always ideal for patients to maintain as much of their natural tooth structure as possible. If teeth remain healthy and cavity-free, they are less likely to experience issues many years later. Sealants will prevent cavities from forming and hence avoid the need for dental fillings and other kinds of restorations.

In short, preventative care is better than relying on restorations. Your child will experience better dental health overall.

The Dental Sealant Procedure

The process for placing dental sealants is simple and straightforward, only taking minutes to perform:

  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned
  • The surfaces of the molars and/or premolars are dried
  • A special acidic substance is applied to the cusps to create a slightly rough surface, which is easier for the sealant to bond to
  • The surfaces of the prepped teeth are rinsed and dried
  • The dentist applies the plastic resin sealant directly onto the teeth
  • A special light may be used to help the dental sealant dry faster and fully

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Most dental sealants last around 10 years. New sealants can be applied to help prolong the cavity-fighting benefits.

During regular checkups, your dentist can check the sealants in place for any chips, cracks, or problems. These can be repaired as the issues arise.

Learn More About Dental Sealants

For more information about dental sealants and if they are right for you child, be sure to contact a skilled family dentist. Dr. Rohinton Patel and his team will be more than happy to answer your questions and address your concerns.