Sealants: Block Cavities Before They Start
At Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry, our Princeton dentists are committed to helping your child avoid common problems like tooth decay. In fact, with good oral care and nutritional habits, most cavities can be avoided.
Why Seal Teeth?
As children grow and mature, it can be difficult to keep teeth clean 100% of the time. Some of the most common areas where cavities develop include the deep grooves and “pits” of the teeth at the back of the mouth (molars).
Sealants are protective coatings that we place over these deep grooves, so that they can easily be brushed clean as your child grows into an adult and improves their dexterity.
Although they aren’t permanent, sealants can last for several years. We recommend placing them as soon as the permanent molars erupt — usually around the ages of 6 and then 12.
Do Sealants Hurt?
Not at all! There are no shots or drilling involved. Here’s what to expect:
- The tooth will be polished and rinsed clean
- A special “soap” etches the surface of the enamel
- The tooth is rinsed and dried thoroughly
- A small brush is used to apply the sealant material to the tooth
- A bright light cures the sealant into place
- Our dentist or hygienist assesses the biting relationship of the sealed tooth
A Quick Add-On To Preventive Visits
During your child’s cleaning and exam, we will evaluate his or her tooth development. Once we start to see the molars erupting, they will usually be ready to seal by their next checkup. Our goal is to seal them as soon as the chewing surface has come through, so that we can protect the tooth as early as possible.
Sealants usually only take a few minutes to apply to each tooth. Having them completed during your child’s checkup won’t add very much time to your visit.
Does Insurance Pay For Sealants?
Depending on the type of dental insurance that you carry, most plans cover sealants at 100%, as they are preventive in nature. Even if your insurance does not cover sealants, they are very affordable. Plus, it can prevent you from having to spend hundreds of dollars later on potential areas of decay.
Caring For Sealed Teeth
Once your son or daughter has sealed molars, it’s not a free pass for being cavity free the rest of their life. It’s still important to make good dietary choices, brush thoroughly, and floss on a regular basis. After all, sealants don’t protect between the teeth, they only protect the grooves on the biting surfaces.
Be sure to avoid sticky foods like caramels or taffy, as this can easily pull the sealant off of the tooth.
During each checkup with our pediatric dentists, we will assess the sealants to make sure nothing needs to be touched up. If it does, we will arrange to have the area re-sealed.
Help your son or daughter avoid one of the most common childhood diseases: tooth decay. Contact Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry today. Be sure to ask about our complimentary 1-Year-Old Checkup for children under 24 months of age.