Helping your child develop good oral hygiene habits early is important for a lifetime of healthy smiles. But sometimes this task is easier said than done. Between sugary foods and drinks, still-developing motor skills and even your child’s genetics, it can be difficult to emerge into young adulthood with “perfect” teeth.
There are many ways, however, to ensure your child’s mouth stays as healthy as possible throughout their growing years. One way, of course, is to establish a regular teeth cleaning exam routine with a pediatric dentist. Ask your dentist how soon you can start bringing your child in (it’s probably earlier than you think!) and have your child get used to these visits.
Along with establishing good home oral care (brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day), you might also want to ask your dentist about dental sealants for kids. Dental sealants can be a great way to keep your child cavity free. Plus, they are painless and typically covered by insurance.
Is Your Kid a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
What are dental sealants for kids?
Dental sealants are a thin coating applied to the chewing surface of the teeth to help prevent cavities. They’re most often painted on the back teeth (molars) since these teeth tend to have deep crevices and grooves that are difficult to keep clean.
Sealants can last up to ten years, and can be applied as early as age five, as soon as a child’s first set of permanent molars come in. Sealants don’t cause any pain and most insurance companies consider sealants a preventative benefit. This means that you may pay nothing out of pocket for sealants, or a very small percentage of the overall cost. Since treating cavities in kids can be both uncomfortable and costly, adding dentals sealants early can help to avoid tooth decay.
Are dental sealants right for your child?
Dental sealants are typically a great option for most children. For many of the reasons listed above, children are especially cavity prone. Sealants, when applied properly, can help a child prevent cavities as they lose their baby teeth and as their adult teeth and molars erupt.
Always check with your dentist first, but most pediatric dentists will happily recommend sealants for your child. The process is simple and can be completed in one visit.
It should be noted that sealants should be both applied properly and monitored regularly for chipping or wearing. Your dentist will check sealants at each regular cleaning. Kids should also continue to practice good oral hygiene, even with sealants. Tooth decay can still occur near the gum line, and kids are subject to the same oral issues adults are, like gum disease and gingivitis. So while dental sealants are great to help prevent decay on those hard to clean back teeth, they can’t prevent every dental problem for your child.
The bottom line is that dental sealants are a great option for most children. Ask your dentist to be sure! They’ll know the right preventative treatment plan for your child’s teeth.
Remember: The above information should be used as general guidelines and should not be substituted for medical advice. If you feel have questions about dental sealants for your child you should contact our skilled dentists for a dental exam.
Pediatric Dentistry and Dental Sealants in Columbus Ohio
Capstone Dental provides pediatric dentistry, including dental sealants and emergency dental services for kids and families in Central Ohio. Contact us today to learn more!