By Ashley Valco
I wish all my kids walked into my office yelling this!
Check it out HERE if you missed it.
While those first baby teeth are movin’ on out to make room for the adult front teeth, your child could already have their first adult molars. Between the ages of 6 and 7 years old the first adult molars begin to make their appearance. These molars, just like every other adult tooth, should hang around for the rest of their life. So that is where sealants come into play.
Run your tongue along the biting surface of all your molars. If you do not have crowns or fillings on them you will feel many grooves and pits. They come in all shapes and sizes and are difficult to keep clean. Your tooth brush bristles aren’t able to get into those grooves as well as we would like. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, which puts your child in danger of tooth decay. This specific area is the most common area for children to get cavities.
So what exactly is a sealant?
Sealant material is made of a tooth colored plastic that is applied to the biting surface of molars. It is a noninvasive treatment that helps keep teeth cavity-free.
What is treatment like?
The process of having sealants applied is completed in one visit and is comfortable and quick. The tooth is cleaned of any food debris and bacteria, then conditioned and dried. The sealant material is squeezed out of a tube into the grooves of the tooth. It flows right in and fills all the grooves smoothly. A little light shined on the tooth will harden it. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
|You can see those tiny grooves are now nice and smooth and can be easily cleaned.|
Which teeth should be sealed?
The teeth that have the highest risk of decay and can benefit from sealants are the first and second molars (aka 6 year molars and 12 year molars). There may be other teeth, such as permanent premolars or other teeth with deep grooves, that could benefit as well. This is why it is best to go to a dental practice that treats your child as an individual with one-on-one treatment so you know that you are getting the best for your child.
What will it cost?
Sealant treatment is very affordable when you consider how much cavities will cost; time in the office, your child’s experience, and financial burden. Many insurance companies will cover sealants. Check with your insurance company and your dental office to see what is covered and if there are any restrictions.
Contact us if you have any questions!