a smiling young boy is ready for his dental treatment and the dentist sits next to him

Sealing Molars: Five Benefits For Your Child

Everyone can benefit from sealing molars, but it's especially important for children. Getting a jump start on keeping their teeth safe can set them up for a healthy smile and fewer dental issues down the road. Sealing molars is a simple and cost-effective way to protect your child's teeth for several reasons.

1. Early Application

Sealants can be applied to the molars and premolars at a young age, soon after the permanent teeth erupt. This usually occurs between the ages of 5 and 7 when the first permanent molars erupt. Then, between 11 and 14, the second permanent molars arrive. Dental sealants are quick, painless, and easy to apply, and they protect the teeth early in your child's life before they've begun to sustain natural wear from years of use.

2. Seals Pits and Fissures

Many people with otherwise healthy teeth have grooves and hollows on the surfaces of their back teeth, which help to grind food for digestion. Sealing these molars helps by smoothing out these pits and fissures, making it difficult for food to stick and cause decay.

3. Avoids Plaque Buildup

When you don't seal your child's molars, the food particles attached to these teeth are often difficult to remove through regular home care. Any missed particles can result in plaque buildup on and between the surfaces of their teeth. Biofilm is a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms in your mouth. Not only can you protect the surfaces of the back teeth with sealants, but the material responds well when rinsing with mouthwashes with antibacterial properties to remove any missed particles that continue to form plaque.

4. Prevents Oral Disease

Molar sealants act as a barrier to protect the enamel from plaque and acids. Plaque contains bacteria, which accumulates over time and can result in multiple problems. These include:

  • Gingivitis or early gum disease
  • Destruction of the tooth enamel
  • Development of cavities
  • Advanced periodontitis, which breaks down gum tissue and underlying bone

Most oral diseases can't be reversed, but all can be prevented. By sealing molars and premolars soon after they erupt, you can avoid the occurrence of oral disease at its root cause.

5. Ensures Better Dental Health

It's never too early to encourage good dental care in your child, but you have to play your part, too. Don't wait for problems to develop—have your child's molars and premolars checked out as soon as they erupt. Your dental professional can determine whether pits and fissures exist and if they increase your child's risk for dental caries. If so, sealing molars and premolars before any problems arise is an excellent way to protect your child's lifelong dental health.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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