At Overland Park Family Dental, we talk to parents all the time about what they can do to ensure their child has great dental health as they grow up. One topic that comes up often is dental sealants. They’re a common treatment in children’s dental care, so it makes sense that many parents are left wondering if they’re necessary and exactly when their child should get them. In this blog post, we go through it all so you can have the facts you need to decide what’s right for your child.
Dental Sealants 101
Before we get into when dental sealants should be placed, it’s important to know the basics. A dental sealant is a coating that we put on those little pits and cracks on the surface of teeth where food can easily get trapped. They’re bonded in place using a special light in a quick procedure. Serving as a barrier to bacteria, sealants offer an extra boost in protection against decay.
Many people think that only children can get sealants, but that’s not the case. Adults can benefit from them as well. It just so happens that many children get them because they are quite prone to cavities since they may not have gotten the hang of proper brushing techniques yet, and/or because they’re a group largely in love with all those deliciously sweet treats that breed cavities.
The Right Time for Sealants
Many dentists will recommend that children get dental sealants when their permanent teeth come in. This usually happens around the age of six. The range between the ages of six and 14 is a particularly cavity-prone time! A spokesman for the American Dental Association said that placing sealants on 4-year molars can reduce cavities by up to 60% and on 6-year molars by up to almost 80%!
Here at Overland Park Family Dental, we believe that investing in prevention is always better than dealing with the costs and stress of a full developed dental problem. Rather than having to bring your child to the dentist to treat their cavity, sealants can help your child avoid cavities in the first place.
If you’d like to learn more about protective dental sealants or if you want to schedule an appointment for your child to get some, you can contact us at Overland Park Family Dental!