In addition to a consistent oral care routine, one way to ensure healthy teeth for your child is to consider dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is applied by a dental professional to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This area is especially vulnerable to decay because the pits and groves on these surfaces can trap food particles in nooks and crannies that are hard to reach with a toothbrush or dental floss.
A sealant goes on as a liquid, but it quickly hardens to form a protective shell over the tooth. The goal of a dental sealant is to protect the tooth from decay and save the money and discomfort associated with fillings and cavities. Many dentists recommend dental sealants for children as soon as the permanent teeth have fully erupted. But if you have an older child or teenager who has poor dental hygiene habits or is prone to cavities, it isn’t too late for a dental sealant to help preserve and promote healthy teeth.
Most dental sealants last for about 10 years, but getting a dental sealant does not replace the need for regular dental visits. In fact, a dentist should check the sealed area during regular cleanings so he or she can add more sealant material if necessary.