What Are Dental Sealants and Does Your Child Need Them?

What Are Dental Sealants and Does Your Child Need Them?
December 1, 2021

Dental sealants can stop decay by preventing plaque and food from collecting in pits and fissures of the teeth, where your child’s toothbrush is less effective at reaching.

Dental sealants can last up to 10 years, so with proper care, your child may not need another dental procedure.

What Kind of Dentist Should Your Child See?

Dental sealant in Bradford should be applied by a general dentist or an experienced pediatric dental specialist.

The sealant should be applied to all permanent molars when they first come in. A dental sealant can also be applied to baby teeth, but this is much less common.

What Happens During Dental Sealant Dental Procedure?

The procedure varies depending on your dental need. However, generally, dental sealants follow this same general procedure:

The dentist will first clean the tooth and surrounding teeth. Dental sealant is applied to a small area of teeth after checking for any physical barriers such as orthodontic braces or crowded back molars.

The dentist will use a brush to apply the coating and let it dry, although ultraviolet light can be used, at times, to hasten the process.

What Do Sealants Do?

Dental sealants are made of a resin composite similar to the material used in dental fillings. The coatings are used to protect teeth from decay by sealing the grooves on the chewing surfaces that tend to collect food.

Dental sealants are intended to last for ten years or longer. But, it can wear off or break, and your child will need a new dental sealant.

What are the Types of Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a line of dental treatment that is used to help protect and prevent cavities.

There are two main types of dental sealants—resins and glass ionomer cement. The resin takes the form of a tooth-colored material, which is easily shaped to the shape of your teeth. The resin is applied as a liquid or as a thick gel then hardened with a curing light.

Glass ionomer cement is applied as a liquid and often hardens immediately. They also release fluoride that strengthens the teeth. However, they are not as strong as the resin sealants.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied on The Teeth?

Applying sealant is a quick and easy process. Your dentist in Bradford, Ontario, or hygienist will apply the coating to each tooth within minutes. Below are the steps on how they do this:

  • First, teeth to be sealed need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. The dentist will use cotton or absorbent material to keep the teeth dry and free of saliva.
  • An acid solution is applied to the teeth to make it easy for the bonding material to stick on the chewing surfaces. The teeth are rinsed and dried.
  • Sealant is then painted onto teeth that need it. The sealant will bond to the tooth and then harden under a curing light.

Is the Dental Sealant Application Process Painful?

The dental sealant application process is not painful and local anesthesia is not used. The procedure does not require any drilling or gum cutting. Sometimes, though, laughing gas may be used if the child is anxious or have dental phobia.

When a dentist applies the sealant to the tooth, they will first clean your teeth and make sure that it is dry. Then they will apply a mild gel on the tooth and apply a coating of sealant around the tooth.

The whole application usually takes less than 30 minutes.

What are the Benefits of Dental Sealants for your Child?

Commonly, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars in permanent teeth. Dental sealants are effective in preventing decay when placed between the grooves of a tooth that cannot be reached with brushing or flossing.

Dental sealants are durable and long-lasting–can last up to 10 years with proper care.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit South Simcoe Dental Care for more information about dental sealants and how they are applied.