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Dental Sealants for Kids: Cavity Prevention and Protection

added on: June 29, 2017
girl smiling in dental chair

Did you know that teeth have deep crevices and grooves that are extremely susceptible to cavities and decay? This is especially true for kids. As a matter of fact, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) estimates that a whopping 9 out of 10 cavities in school-aged kids form in these specific areas. Since the 1960s, dentists have been using sealants to protect young teeth from bad bacteria. Our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to help you understand how sealants can protect your kid’s smile and your budget!

What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are simply liquid-thin coatings of clear, non-harmful plastic that bond to the teeth to easily fill and adhere to all teeth, especially the molars where cavities like to take shape. Permanent molars located near the back of the mouth are excellent candidates for sealants, however, the AAPD says all other non-molar baby and permanent teeth will also benefit from treatment.

Should My Kid Have Sealants?

One of the biggest benefits of sealants is that they can actually save you some cash in the long run with their super protective capabilities. Your pediatric dentist in Long Island believes that sealants are the best way to keep young teeth safe from harmful bacteria that cause cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. Coupled with good at-home hygiene and regular checkups, sealants can dramatically decrease your child’s risk of damaging tooth decay.

What Age Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?

Did you know that both kids and their parents can get sealants? Any age is a good age to have sealants applied but earlier is always better. For most children, molars begin to appear around the age of 6 with the second molars poking through somewhere around age 12. It’s important to seal these teeth as soon as they erupt because they’re more prone to cavities. If you take the steps to keep them free from harmful bacteria you have a better chance of steering clear of cavities and fillings in the future. This saves you and your family both money and time!

For most people, sealants will do their job for several years. They can always be reapplied if needed. We may also apply sealants to teeth that are showing signs of early decay. This helps to prevent any further deterioration of the tooth. Thankfully, sealants are clear so our Long Island pediatric dental office is able to monitor your teeth to ensure the sealants are providing the proper protection. If you have any questions about sealants or if you would like to find out if your kiddo would benefit from them, please call us or ask about them at your next visit!