At Treehouse Children's Dentistry, we specialize in several preventive services, including the application of dental sealants to protect vulnerable areas of enamel.
Sealants provide a barrier between the enamel and any outside debris, including plaque and disease-causing bacteria.
Studies show that sealants provide excellent protection for your child's molars and premolars during their formative years while they are still learning about oral hygiene.
During your child's initial appointment, we will determine if this preventive step would be beneficial for their oral health. Our doctors handle the safe and secure application of dental sealants at our Tuscumbia, AL clinic.
Dental Sealants for Kids
Our staff at Treehouse Dentistry can help your child have lifelong positive oral health through the education and preventative steps we provide.
We want to help your child have a healthy smile for at least a hundred years, or maybe even more! Those primary teeth may seem temporary, but they play an important role in kids' dental health.
We want to protect primary teeth because:
|•||Baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth.
|•||Bacteria can travel through primary teeth and infect adult molars even before they come up.|
Scheduling regular dental checkups is important, even for your younger children. The health of their primary teeth can signal the longer term health of first molars as they break through the gum tissue. We can help protect their premolars and first molars through evaluation and a good daily hygiene routine.
Once your child has grown first and second molars, we will discuss the application of dental sealants.
What are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a varnish coating that we paint over the occlusal surface of a posterior tooth (also known as a molar).
The application is a painless procedure that does not require a drill or any other instrument besides a small brush and a blue light for curing.
Generally, we place sealants over your child's permanent molars once they have grown in. In rare instances, we may also recommend sealants to protect primary, or baby teeth, especially if your child is prone to tooth decay or undergoing medical treatment that may cause a reduction in saliva.
Why Should My Child Have Dental Sealants?
There are two main reasons we recommend the application of dental sealants for all children.
|•||1. Still Learning: Your child is still learning about oral hygiene and how to care for their teeth. We recommend being very involved in the daily brushing and flossing of teeth until at least the age of seven. After that time, parents should still be on continuous watch, but generally children are able to go through the brushing and flossing steps on their own.
Even still, we understand that there are going to be spots that are missed, your child is still learning. We also understand that sometimes there can be resistance from the child. We want to assist your child in protecting their teeth while learning the importance of good oral hygiene by protecting vulnerable areas.
|•||2. Healthier Longer: Though adults may still be dealing with the damage caused by tooth decay from their childhood, overall, adults get fewer cavities than children. If we can reduce the amount of restorative work needed on your child's permanent teeth, we can help them have healthier teeth longer. Teeth that have been worked on, or have fillings, can still suffer from deterioration. We want to prevent this by stopping the development of cavities using dental sealants.|
Teeth are naturally designed with points and grooves to help us break down food. Our enamel provides a wonderful service to us.
Along with its various shapes, enamel can also create areas that are easy for food and plaque to become stuck and difficult to remove. It may even be impossible.
We can protect these odd shapes by providing a barrier, dental sealants serve as a wall of protection to the enamel.
By not allowing food and plaque to settle in these spaces, we are saving teeth from potential decay. Increasingly, many of our young patients are reaching adulthood without ever having a cavity.
Learn More About Understanding Cavities
Dental Sealant Application
The application of dental sealants is painless and fast. It is a preventive step that we would take following a thorough dental cleaning. Once the teeth are clean, we apply a light acid to etch the enamel, this will allow for better adhesion with very minimal damage to the tooth.
The sealant varnish material is then painted on with a small brush. It is slightly tinted in color.
We then harden the varnish in place with a blue light.
Once hardened, your child may use their teeth naturally, including eating and drinking.
Dental sealants are resilient and should remain in place for several years, for some patients, sealants have remained in place for ten years.
We will check the status of the sealant material at every dental checkup and may suggest refreshing as needed. The goal is to help your child have healthy teeth, and dental sealants have been found to be a wonderful tool in the prevention of disease.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Yes! Dental sealants have been found to be safe and effective by the American Dental Association and are recommended by pediatric professionals. Sealants have now been routinely used for more than 40 years in both kids and adults. They are one of the most effective ways in preventing cavities after regular brushing and flossing.
Some patients will ask if the material is safe if accidentally consumed, or if a small piece breaks off, and the answer is yes. Dental sealants are made using a non-toxic material and will not cause problems if ingested.
Contact our Team at Treehouse in Tuscumbia About Dental Sealants!
We want to answer your questions about dental sealants and your child's teeth. We invite you to contact our team and schedule an appointment at 256-712-4080.