According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five children between the ages of 5 and 11 have a decayed tooth left untreated. Unfortunately, decayed teeth during childhood can easily lead to oral health problems as an adult. Opting for dental sealants in Fort Collins, CO may mean the difference between having a child with cavities and a child with perfectly healthy teeth.
At Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry, we are all about being proactive when it comes to oral health in children. Dental sealants are just one of the ways that we step in to make a difference.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a quick treatment designed to protect areas of the teeth that are most cavity-prone in children. Even though regular brushing is a major factor in protecting your child’s teeth, toothbrushes don’t reach everything. Dental sealants are applied to chewing surfaces, usually on the back teeth, to cover ridges, grooves, and dips where plaque often accumulates. The plastic resin material bonds to the surface of the tooth to protect the enamel from plaque and acids in food.
The Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are one of the simplest treatments provided by a pediatric dentist. The application process is quick, painless, and simple, but the level of protection for the tooth is profound. Once in place, the sealants offer protection against about 80 percent of cavities and will offer that protection for as long as two years. Even after two years, the protective barrier may offer 50 percent protection for about four years.
Another important benefit of dental sealants for children is the fact that they can protect them from more invasive treatments later on. More invasive treatments can be both unsettling for the child and expensive for the parent. Because a child’s teeth are protected from decay, it is less likely they will have to deal with something like a filling, root canal, or extraction later.
A Closer Look at the Dental Sealants Procedure
Dental sealants can be applied by either a dentist or a trained dental hygienist. Usually, the child’s teeth will get a thorough cleaning before the procedure to ensure no small particles or bacteria are on the tooth. The following steps will then take place:
1. The tooth is thoroughly dried, and a protective barrier may be used to keep the tooth dried
2. A light acid solution is used to roughen the surface of the tooth to help the sealant bond
3. The tooth is rinsed with water and dried again
4. The sealant is painted on the tooth’s surface
5. A curing light is then used to harden the sealant
Ready to Discuss Dental Sealants in Fort Collins, CO?
In the end, dental sealants can be a valuable part of your child’s preventative oral health plan. We are the pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO that can help you make sure your child’s teeth are well-protected. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.