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Are Dental Sealants Necessary For Baby Teeth?

added on: June 11, 2020
toddler boy with fedora

There’s a common misconception that baby teeth aren’t that important. After all, they’re just going to fall out, so why does your pediatric dentist in Long Island put so much importance on protecting them? The truth is, while only temporary, baby teeth serve an important role in permanent teeth development, speech, and even the ability to eat healthy, nutritious foods. That’s why it’s so crucial to take care of tiny teeth, and one of the best ways to keep teeth healthy is through protective dental sealants.  

What Are Dental Sealants?

Even if your child brushes and flosses her teeth regularly, it can be difficult to thoroughly remove plaque and food particles from all the hard-to-reach crevices. But not to worry, dental sealants are an incredibly easy and effective way to protect these areas from decay. Dental sealants do just as their name suggests — they seal teeth with a thin, protective coating. The sealant material will bond to the surface where it’s applied, creating a barrier against bacteria, decay, cavities, and other dental problems. 

What’s it Like Getting Dental Sealants?

The process of getting dental sealants is super easy, painless, and quick. Following your child’s dental cleaning, each tooth will be dried off to prep the area. Then, your pediatric dentist in Long Island will take a small brush and simply paint on the sealant material where it will bond and harden, forming a protective layer.  

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Children between the ages of 6 and 14 are most likely to get dental sealants, especially on their permanent premolars and molars. Those teeth, in particular, are packed full of pesky nooks and crannies where plaque, bacteria, and food can easily build up and lead to decay, cavities, or even tooth loss if left untreated. Children in that age range are also often more susceptible to cavities in general, so it’s important to do everything we can to keep their teeth protected so they can last a lifetime. In fact, even the Academy of General Dentistry agrees and states that sealants are a successful preventive option for their child’s oral health. 

However, those with permanent teeth aren’t the only ones who can benefit from dental sealants. As we mentioned earlier, baby teeth are incredibly important for long-term good oral health, and these teeth can help permanent adult teeth develop and erupt properly by reserving enough space for them. But if baby teeth are damaged by decay and fall out before they’re supposed to, overall oral health can be put at risk. If your pediatric dentist in Long Island suspects that your child’s baby teeth are at increased risk for decay, they may recommend sealants.

How Often Should Sealants Be Applied?

Here’s an even better part of dental sealants — they can last for up to 10 years! That’s a decade of protection against the damaging effects of plaque and bacteria. However, dental sealants can wear down and chip, so it’s important to have your pediatric dentist in Long Island check them at every bi-annual dental checkup

At our pediatric dental office, we believe in doing everything we can to protect growing grins and encouraging patients to take great care of their teeth so they can have a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you have questions about whether your child can benefit from dental sealants, or it’s just time to get your little one in for a check-up, call us to schedule an appointment today.