If you've taken your child to the dentist and talked about optional services, you may have heard of dental sealants. But while dental sealants can be helpful in keeping cavities at bay, are they still useful when your child has their baby teeth? Here's what you should know.
What They Are
Dental sealants are essentially a thin layer of the same kind of resin that's used to create dental fillings. It's applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to help keep cavities at bay. Since dental resin isn't a biological substance, it isn't impacted by dental bacteria that can cause cavities. In essence, think of it as an extra artificial layer of dental enamel.
Why It's Valid for Baby Teeth
Some people may think that dental sealants aren't worth the cost for baby teeth. After all, they'll fall out at some point, at which your child will need new dental sealants in order to be protected again. But they actually are a very good idea for your child's baby teeth.
For starters, your child's baby teeth act as a guide for your child's incoming adult teeth. Baby teeth sort of lead the way, helping adult teeth to come in straight and without overcrowding.
Furthermore, your child is actually at a higher risk of getting cavities while they have baby teeth than when they have adult teeth. Not only do children typically not do as good a job with their oral hygiene care as adults, but the enamel present on your child's baby teeth is thinner than it will be on their adult teeth. This means they have less protection against cavities from the get-go, which dental sealants can help to make up for.
What to Expect
If your last concern is about potentially making your child scared or hurt while getting dental sealants, don't worry about it. It's a completely painless and non-invasive process.
All your child really needs to do is to sit still and keep their mouth open for the duration of the procedure. Your dentist will essentially paint a thin layer of the dental sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth, especially the molars. The sealant will seep into all the nooks and crannies of the molars, ensuring that food stuck there doesn't cause cavities. Then your dentist will use a specialized light that will instantly harden the sealants. That's it; the entire process is done, and your child now has a higher defense against getting cavities. So what are you waiting for? Contact a children's dentist today.