When Not to Get Your Kids Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic, protective coatings painted over teeth. They protect teeth from the effects of dental plaque, such as tooth decay. These procedures by a pediatric dentist in Phoenix are fast, easy, and painless. Sealants are suitable for kids of ages 6-16. However, not all children can have them placed on their teeth. Other kids may not need them.
Why Does Your Child Need Dental Sealants?
After eating or drinking, little starch and sugar particles remain in the mouth. Instead, they mix with oral bacteria and acids to produce plaque. Acids in the plaque erode the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
Molars and premolars contain grooves that help in chewing food. When brushing, you may not remove all bacteria and food particles from these areas. Sealants are applied to the teeth to prevent plaque from building up. They cover the tooth enamel and flow into the deep grooves and small spaces between teeth. The thin protective coating seal out bacteria and plaque.
Dental Sealant Procedure
You can expect the kids’ dentist near Phoenix, AZ, to carry out the steps below during the procedure.
- Use a polishing brush and gritty toothpaste to clean the teeth. These remove bacteria and plaque from the kid’s teeth.
- Dry the teeth and keep them dry from saliva using cotton or a cheek shield.
- Prepare the teeth for the sealant by applying an etching solution to them. It disinfects the teeth and roughens them for easy bonding with the sealant.
- Rinse off the solution and dry these teeth again.
- Apply a bonding layer over the teeth followed by the dental sealant.
- Use a LED light to harden the liquid sealant.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Children start having their permanent teeth around age six. The molars and premolars continue erupting into their late teens. Your child may not maintain proper oral hygiene, increasing the risk of decay. The sealants protect your child’s teeth as they develop throughout the years.
As a result, they prevent infections and oral health problems from affecting kids. Besides, the materials can last for up to ten years with proper care and maintenance. Therefore, your child’s teeth remain protected until they can practice good dental hygiene.
Adults, too, can have sealants applied over their teeth for extra protection. Unfortunately, although they can maintain proper oral hygiene, they can still get cavities. In addition, the biochemistry changes in saliva that comes with age make them prone to teeth decay.
Babies can have sealants painted over their teeth. If the child’s teeth have deep grooves, pits, and fissures, the dentist may recommend sealants for them. In addition, some babies with a high risk of tooth decay can have sealants to prevent early tooth loss.
Does Insurance Cover Sealants?
Teeth sealants for kids are a preventive dentistry treatment against cavities. Therefore, they are covered under most dental coverage plans for little to no cost. The pediatric dentist in Phoenix, AZ, will check with your dental insurance provider to determine the scope of coverage.
However, parents without insurance should consider paying for the sealants out of pocket. Your child deserves extra protection from cavities. Getting this one-time treatment costs less than getting dental restorations due to cavities.
When Are Sealants Not Ideal for Kids?
The procedure involves getting the child to open their mouth wide open and sit still for a few minutes. If a child cannot cooperate with a dentist for the process, then sealants are not suitable for them. Your dentist may delay the application until the child is ready.
Children above eight years of age have excellent hand dexterity. As a result, they can easily reach the back teeth when brushing. After training on proper brushing techniques with the kids’ dentist near Phoenix, AZ, they can skip sealants.
Some kids have relatively smooth molars and premolars. Since the grooves are shallow, plaque and bacteria are easily removed when brushing. As a result, kids with such teeth are not prone to cavities without dental sealants.
The tooth must stay dry once it is cleaned for the application to be successful. The sealant will fail if the child has an active tongue that wets the tooth with saliva. Also, if a kid has a sensitive gag reflex, applying the protective coating on back teeth will be a challenge.
Consult a pediatric dentist for individual assessment of your child’s teeth. The dentist will determine the need and suitability for sealants. If any issues restrict your child from getting sealants, the dentist will handle them. The Desert Ridge Pediatric Dentistry team will work closely with your child.