Dr. Kittell recommends dental sealants, which are very thin coatings used to fill in deep grooves and pits in teeth that can harbor bacteria. Sealants are applied to healthy chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay and cavities, especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay affects more than half of children ages 6-8, and even older children and teens. By applying sealants, families can prevent decay and save on the costs associated with filling cavities. If you plan to get sealants, the CDC recommends doing so shortly after the molars have erupted from the gums, usually beginning around age 6.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sealants may be right for your child if he or she has molar teeth that are healthy and free of decay. Schedule a dental consultation for a complete examination to determine if sealants could be a preventative health solution for your child.
Your child will not experience any pain when sealants are placed. There is no drilling, and the entire tooth is left intact for the procedure. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a special gel before the sealant is painted on and cured. Although your child may at first feel the sealants on his or her teeth, they are very thin and easy to adapt to.
Normal eating habits can resume after dental sealants are applied, although the sealants should be checked for deterioration at every dental appointment. Sealants that are damaged or missing can be replaced.