What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a translucent plastic coating placed on the chewing surface of your permanent molars and premolars. These airtight plastic shields can help protect the many grooves on your back teeth from decay. Applying sealants to your child’s teeth is the one of the best things you can do to help your child protect his or her teeth against tooth decay.
When is the best time for dental sealants?
It is important to have the dental sealants applied before decay even has a chance to start. If you wait too long, your child could develop cavities that can cause unnecessary pain and extra expense. Dr. Wright says, “All kids need sealants. Without them, 90% of molars will decay. Be smart and do it now, because $55 dollars now could save thousands later.”
Dental sealants for six-year molars
The sealants are applied when the chewing surface of the first permanent molar erupts, which is usually when your child is around six years old. The molars are at the back of the mouth, behind the baby teeth. That is what makes them hard to reach when brushing.
There are four molar teeth, two upper and two lower. They may not all come in at the same time, so sealants may have to be applied as each tooth breaks through the gums.
Twelve year molars need sealants, too
At around twelve years of age, your child should have his second set of molars, which are known as the twelve year molars. These teeth should receive dental sealants, too. The back teeth are difficult to reach and brush thoroughly, so sealing them provides a great defense against decay.
Properly applied, the protective sealants can last up to ten years, but there are conditions under which they may wear off sooner. It is important to take your child to see the dentist every six months for check-ups. Your dentist will be able to monitor the condition of the sealants at that time and re-apply them as necessary.
According to the Division of Oral Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants can save time, money and pain.
Do you see those molars peeking through? Do you wonder if it’s time for sealants? Don’t delay and let that tooth decay! Call the friendly staff at Cambridge Family Dental today to schedule an appointment.
If you are interested in additional ways to help maintain a healthy smile through sealants, check out our blog on sealants.
Or speak to one of our friendly staff members now by calling
(316) 687-2110 or toll-free at (877) 687-2110