Dental Sealants for Kids Scottsdale AZ
There is a war going on in your child’s mouth, right now as you read this.
On one side are your child’s teeth and gums. On the other side are the bacteria and leftover food particles that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Soldiers wear body armor to protect them from injury. In pediatric dentistry, a dental sealant serves the same purpose as body armor: standing between your child’s teeth and gums and the cavity-causing acids that threaten them.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true in kids’ dentistry: preventing a cavity from getting started is easier, less painful, and less expensive than filling a cavity.
Find out more about how by treating your child’s teeth with a dental sealant here in Scottsdale, Arizona, we can help prevent tooth decay and cavities.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a clear or tooth-colored acrylic coating material. We apply it to your child’s teeth by “painting” them onto the enamel, where the sealant then hardens into a shield surface on top of the tooth.
Dental sealants work by filling in the tiny pits and fissures, depressions, and deep grooves that can form on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth, especially the molars. These are the nooks and crannies where tooth brushing and even flossing might not always effectively reach, places where food particles can build up.
Those food particles then become the food source for bacteria, and the plaque and acid those bacteria create are what bore away at your child’s tooth enamel.
By effectively smoothing over the places on teeth where cavities are most likely to gain a foothold, a dental sealant can significantly help prevent cavities from forming. According to the Centers for Disease Control, dental “sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.”
How Do We Apply Dental Sealants?
The procedure to apply a dental sealant is simple, painless, and quick.
First, we will make sure that your child’s teeth are clean and dry. Then one of our child dentists will apply and then remove a gel that will help prepare the enamel to bond with the sealant material.
Next, your child’s dentist will apply the sealant to the tooth surfaces, then get it to harden by applying a blue curing light treatment to it.
That’s it. No drilling. No pain. No lengthy appointments, or multiple appointments. And the protection from cavities can last for years before a re-application of the sealant becomes necessary.
FAQs About Dental Sealants for Kids
Can dental sealants be used to treat cavities as well as avoid them?
Once a cavity forms, usually the best treatment is to use our tooth-colored restoration to repair the tooth first before applying a dental sealant. In some cases, though, if the signs of tooth decay are still in their early stages, we might apply a sealant to prevent it from worsening.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants are durable. They often last for up to 9 years after application. Still, like a dental filling a sealant will eventually weaken over time, so every time we see your child for a check-up, cleaning, or other appointment we will be on the lookout for sealants that need a re-application to keep them strong.
When is the earliest I should take my child in for dental sealants?
We recommend that when your child’s permanent molars begin to erupt that you consider dental sealants for them.
Do dental sealants replace the need for tooth brushing and flossing?
No, they are still important for dental health even with dental sealants applied. Regular brushing and flossing are still the best way to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy and to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants complement tooth brushing and flossing, they do not replace those essential daily oral health activities.
Are dental sealants visible? Will they affect my child’s smile?
Dental sealants blend in well with the color of the surrounding natural teeth. Practically speaking, they will be invisible when your child smiles.
How much do dental sealants cost?
Dental sealants are an effective treatment to prevent cavities and promote dental hygiene. Therefore, if you have health or dental insurance then your insurance might help pay for part of the cost to apply dental sealants to your child’s teeth. Also, remember that treating a cavity that might have been prevented by a dental sealant can cost you money, too, and that would be more expensive than a dental sealant treatment.
Talk with Us About Dental Sealants for Your Child
The best way to deal with any kind of problem is to head it off before it begins. This includes protecting your child’s dental health today and for the future.
Dental sealants are a highly effective, practical, safe, painless, and long-lasting way to protect teeth by heading off cavities before they can get started. Compared to the price of dental fillings, they are cost-effective for children and adults.
Call us today at (480) 422-4544 to schedule a dental sealant appointment in Scottsdale for your child. Or you can contact us online to schedule an appointment or to ask us a question about dental sealants or any other child dentistry topic like orthodontics. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.
Every day your child’s teeth remain unprotected against tooth decay is another day that cavities can dig in a little deeper. Call us today so we can stop them now—and for years to come—with a dental sealant treatment.