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Even if your child brushes and flosses regularly, they’re still at risk for cavities. Dental sealants provide a safe and effective line of defense that can preserve your child’s teeth for the long term. At Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, New York, Staci Brunell, DMD, and the team use sealants to protect against tooth decay. To schedule an appointment for your child, book a consultation online, or call the office today.
Sealants are thin, tooth-colored coatings made of composite resin applied directly to your child’s teeth. The coating envelopes the grooves and bumps on each tooth, preventing harmful bacteria and plaque from causing decay.
Sealants are particularly beneficial for your child’s molars and premolars. Because these teeth are at the back of the mouth, they’re hard to clean. Sealants provide an extra line of defense, limiting the risk of cavities or the need for extractions.
At Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry, the team recommends that children get sealants as soon as their primary (baby) teeth come in. Children are most likely to experience cavities between the ages of 6-14. By applying sealants early on, it’s possible to significantly lower their risk of future complications.
Getting sealants is a simple in-office procedure that typically takes less than 45 minutes. At the beginning of your child’s appointment, their provider conducts an oral exam and comprehensive cleaning. Afterward, your child’s provider dries each tooth with absorbent material.
Next, your child’s provider places an acid solution on their teeth, which roughens up the chewing surfaces. This makes it easier for the sealant to bond to your child’s teeth. Your child’s provider rinses the solution off, dries your child’s teeth, and then carefully applies a thin layer of sealant material to each tooth.
The sealant bonds directly to your child’s teeth and hardens immediately. If necessary, your child’s provider might also point a special light at the sealants to speed up the curing process.
On average, sealants last for about 10 years. However, it’s possible for them to chip or wear away. To prevent this from occurring, encourage your child to brush and floss regularly. If possible, they should also avoid bad habits like nail biting or chewing on ice.
At each subsequent dental appointment, your child’s provider monitors the integrity of their sealants. If they notice that your child’s sealants are in poor condition, they can replace them as necessary.
Most dental insurance plans cover sealants, but only for children under the age of 18. Every provider is different, though. If you have questions about your policy, reach out to your insurance company prior to scheduling an appointment at Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry.
If you’re interested in learning more about sealants, schedule an appointment at Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry. Book a consultation online, or call the office and speak with a friendly staff member today.