Dental Sealants Seal Out Tooth Decay
For Kids 6-14 Years Old
At Keswick Kids Dental, we recommend dental sealants for kids on new permanent teeth as soon as they erupt, which typically occurs in children 6 – 14 years old. In some cases we may also recommend sealants for baby teeth as well.
Dental sealants for kids are a very thin protective coating applied to the chewing surface of children’s back teeth. They fill in all the nooks and crannies and help to prevent unwanted tooth decay and cavities.
The procedure for children’s dental sealants is simple, quick, effective, and highly recommended for molars and premolars in children and teenagers. In fact, when applied correctly, sealants are 100% effective in protecting teeth from cavities! Food and bacteria cannot penetrate the sealant and there is little to no chance for tooth decay or cavities to form.
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If your child or teen has never had children’s dental sealants or is in need of a check-up, our pediatric dentist and friendly staff are ready to welcome you. Our brand new, state-of-the-art kids dental clinic, complete with an arcade and prize room, is designed for dental happy visits!
We also offer direct billing and affordable financing for dental work through PayBright, plus complimentary spa services for parents as they wait!
Benefits of Dental Sealants for Kids
The benefits of dental sealants are particularly great for young children and teenagers.
Sealants protect the vulnerable cavity prone areas in back molar teeth that can be hard (especially for kids) to brush or floss. The rigid surface area of back molars is particularly susceptible to germs and food build up as it is hard for toothbrush bristles to reach these spots. Essentially, dental sealants for kids help protect all the pits and grooves (or nooks and crannies) in your child’s teeth from plaque and food buildup.
By stopping decay, sealants for children can prevent the need for fillings or more invasive dental procedures down the road. In fact, some studies show that school-age children without sealants have up to three times more cavities than children with sealants. The simple, painless procedure can keep your child smiling for years to come!
Dental Sealants Procedure
Applying dental sealants for kids is a quick and painless procedure that can be done as part of a regular dental checkup. Since it basically involves cleaning, drying and painting the tooth with the sealant, most children do not even notice the procedure is being performed. The steps involved include:
- Cleaning and drying each tooth thoroughly.
- Applying an acid solution to the chewing surface of each tooth to create a rough surface for sealants to adhere too.
- Rinsing and drying each tooth thoroughly.
- Painting the sealant onto the tooth enamel (it hardens in a few seconds).
- If needed, using a curing light to help the sealant bond directly to the tooth.
The dental sealant procedure typically takes between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on how many teeth are being sealed.
Children’s Dental Sealants on Baby Teeth
Our pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants for kids with baby teeth when the teeth are particularly prone to decay. Even though these baby teeth eventually fall out, they do play an important role in keeping the proper spacing in the mouth for permanent teeth. Sealants ensure baby teeth stay healthy for as long as possible, and do not prematurely fall out before the permanent teeth are ready to grow in.
Sealants vs Fillings
Dental sealants for kids are a preventative procedure that protects the surface of healthy molars and premolars from tooth decay and cavities.
Dental fillings on the other hand are a restorative procedure that return teeth back to their original condition in terms of shape and function. They can also stop any pain that may be caused by the decay. A filling can be a more invasive procedure that “fills in” the decayed tooth and stops additional decay from occurring.
Following the dental sealant procedure your child can eat right away and return back to their normal routines. At each following dental appointment our children’s dentist will monitor for any possible chipping or leakage.
Hard, sticky, and chewy foods such as ice, gum, gummies) may contribute to sealant failure and are not recommended for children with sealants. Parents should help their children maintain a healthy oral care routine that includes proper teeth brushing and flossing techniques.
How Long Do Dental Sealants for Kids Last?
When properly applied, children’s dental sealants can last up to ten years under normal wear and tear. At each regular dental check-up our pediatric dentist will assess the sealants and determine whether it is necessary to replace or repair the sealant due to chips or wear.
Public Health Ontario offers more information on the Effectiveness of Dental Sealants.
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Dental Sealants FAQ
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants are used to fill the natural pits, cracks and crevasses (fissures) of our chewing teeth. This helps to prevent food and bacteria from getting trapped in our teeth, which in turn helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
How are dental sealants applied?
Dental sealants are made of resin and can be applied to the back molar teeth rather quickly and easily. They are painted onto the surface of the teeth, forming a thin, smooth protective coating that can last for several years.
Can you get a cavity under a sealant?
When the teeth are properly prepared and cleaned and the sealants are properly applied, the risk of a cavity forming under the sealant is extremely low.
Do sealants wear off?
Very rarely are sealants removed and when properly cared for, they can last up to 4 or 5 years or more. In most cases, your dentist will reapply sealants as needed.
Are sealants better than fillings?
Sealants are used more as a preventative measure to stop tooth decay and cavities before they happen. Dental fillings are used after the damage is done, to repair the damage caused by tooth decay and cavities.
Can you put dental sealants over fillings?
Sealants are preventative and are designed for application before cavities occur. Sealants are not necessary after having fillings because the fillings do a good job of repairing the teeth that were damaged by tooth decay.
Does my child need dental sealants?
Oral health is vitally important for growing children. Sealants are safe, easy to apply, and an inexpensive way to help prevent tooth decay and cavities in those hard-to-reach pre-molars and molars.
How effective are dental sealants?
Sealants do a good job of protecting teeth. They are up to 80% effective at preventing cavities within the first 2 years and approximately 50% effective up to 4 years after application.
Can you chew gum with sealants?
Foods that are extremely sticky like toffee and chewing gum, could potentially get stuck on your teeth so there is a risk that the integrity of the sealants could be compromised when trying to remove sticky foods from your teeth.
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