Many dentists suggest dental sealants for kids and for a good reason. There are proven benefits of sealants, including better oral health and less time missed at school for dental appointments like those for fillings. Even recommended by the CDC, these sealants can have a positive impact for many years.
To Answer Your Questions
*As a parent, you most likely have many questions about dental sealants and how they work. Let’s address some of those.
- What are dental sealants for kids? They are a thin coating of a clear or white medical-grade resin that is applied to the chewing surface of your child’s molar. They help to fill in crevices in the chewing surface that can trap food and plaque.
- How are they applied? Dental sealants are painted on using a brush. They must be applied to completely dry teeth, so while the procedure is entirely painless, it does take some time to dry the teeth, apply the resin, and cure it.
- How long do they last? Sealants can last up to a full nine years if properly maintained. Your child’s dentist can repair a chipped sealant, so routine checkups are essential to spot problems like cavities and examine their sealants’ state of repair.
A CDC-Recommended Treatment
According to the CDC, dental sealants for kids can prevent up to 80% of cavities in the first two years and up to half of them for four years. With these statistics, it’s not surprising that kids without dental sealants typically have three times as many cavities, or more, than those that do. The CDC works with dentists, hygienists, and even community outreach programs to make sure school-aged children have access to sealants.
The two most significant benefits of dental sealants for kids are better oral health and fewer days missed at school because of dental appointments. Both of these have a long-term impact reaching far into adulthood. Better oral health as a child equates to better oral health as an adult, and we only get one set of natural, permanent teeth. More time in school means better grades and more socialization with classmates (even in today’s virtual learning environments).