Get Ready For School With Dental Sealants

One female and two male students walking down a school hallway

Teeth are vulnerable to the effects of tooth decay, which usually leads to a cavity. However, you can protect your teeth, and especially your children’s teeth, by having dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings placed on top of the molars in your mouth to prevent cavities from forming. Most dentists recommend that children receive dental sealants as they are more susceptible to cavities than adults are, but anyone can get them. Find out dental sealants can help your child start school off on the right foot with these tips!

Sugar and Teeth

As the new school year begins, kids are excited to start their classes, meet new friends and make more memories. As life becomes busy with homework and sports, though, kids oftentimes forget about their oral hygiene. With all of the sugary foods and drinks that are available in vending machines, school lunches and snacking with friends, your children’s teeth are vulnerable to the effects of tooth decay. The biggest culprit of tooth decay is sugar, which is found in most candies, sweet drinks, juices and baked goods. The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugary components of food, and this process produces acid that eats away at tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the outer, shiny layer of our teeth that protect them from decay, but when left unchecked, sugary foods can destroy this layer and cause cavities. Cavities are holes in the tooth that can cause pain and eventual tooth loss if untreated. While having your kids floss and brush their teeth daily with a fluoride toothpaste will strengthen enamel and remove decay-causing plaque, that’s not enough to combat decay. To ensure that your kids’ teeth are protected from the sugar attack that they’ll experience at school, they need dental sealants. Once dental sealants are applied, your kids will be ready to take on anything that comes their way this school year, and you’ll have the peace of mind that their oral health is protected. 

What Are Dental Sealants?

Many young kids get nervous while at the dentist’s office, but there is nothing to fear with dental sealants. Kids don’t need to worry about shots, anesthesia or metal tools being poked around their mouths; dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted onto each tooth in under 30 seconds, so they’re quick, easy and pain-free. By sealing off the pitted area of the tooth, sealants prevent food particles, bacteria and plaque from building up within the tooth. This process greatly reduces the development of cavities and maintains the structural integrity of the tooth and its enamel. The main purpose of dental sealants is to prevent the need for dental fillings, which are expensive and invasive. Dental sealants can be tooth-colored or clear, which lets the dentist monitor the tooth in the future and ensures that the sealant is doing its job. Unlike fillings, dental sealants are unnoticeable to others and can make your children feel less self-conscious whenever they have dental work done. When taken care of, dental sealants can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years without reapplication. 

What To Expect With A Dental Sealant

Young female patient with mouth open as dentist applies dental sealant onto her teeth.

Dental sealants can be placed on teeth whether they do or do not have decay. However, sealants can only be placed on decayed teeth if the decay isn’t extensive. This can keep the decay from worsening and prevents damaging the tooth. Most sealants are placed on the premolars and molars near the back of the mouth, where brushing and flossing is more difficult. Once your child is in the dental chair, the hygienist will clean their tooth of any plaque and dry it. An acidic gel will then be placed on the tooth to roughen up the surface so that the sealant can bond better with the tooth. The gel will then be rinsed off and the tooth and dried again before the sealant is painted onto the chewing area of the tooth. A special curing light will then be used to harden the sealant to end the treatment. It only takes a few minutes to clean the tooth, lay the sealant and harden it, so most kids can receive all of their dental sealants in one appointment. Once your child has received all of his/her sealants, their teeth are ready to start the new school year with confidence.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth With Our Help!At Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we are ready to help your family start the new school year off right. Our team provides a comfortable environment for your child so that their experience receiving dental sealants is a happy one. To schedule a back-to-school dental checkup with dental sealants, call our office at (970) 223-8425. Call today to keep your child’s oral health in tip-top shape this school year!