Oral Health Buzz
Dental Sealant for Children
There are many things that you and your dentist can do to help your children have strong, healthy teeth; one of those things is using dental sealant for children.
Dental sealant is a thin coating made from special plastic that is applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth in the back of the mouth. The back teeth are the ones that are most likely to show signs of decay, so it is important to take this extra step to help protect them. Sealant helps keep food particles and germs from getting stuck in the grooves of these teeth, which can cause decay.
The sealant is usually applied as soon as your child's permanent molars come in between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. Once those molars have erupted, it is a good idea to have your dentist apply the sealant as soon as possible.
Sealants are applied at the dentist's office, and the procedure is often fast and painless. There is no drilling or removal of any part of the tooth structure during the process. First, the tooth is cleaned and dried, and then coated with a special gel. When the gel dries, the tooth is then brushed with sealant resin, which is then also allowed to dry. Sealants can be white, clear, or slightly tinted to match the color of the tooth, and are not typically noticed when you laugh, talk, or smile.
These sealants often last for 5 to 10 years and should be checked by your child's dentist when you take him in for regular visits. Using dental sealant for children, combined with good oral hygiene habits, healthy eating, and regular professional dental cleanings, is a great way to help keep your child's teeth healthy and strong throughout their lives. You can learn more about how to care for your child's teeth in the Colgate Oral Care resources.