As a family dentist, I have a special place in my heart, and my Lake Orion, Michigan dental office, for kids. While dental hygiene is the same across the board for people of every age, children get a few dental procedures all to themselves.
My goal is to instill healthy oral hygiene habits in kids, while giving them the tools to protect themselves later in life. I do this by using dental sealants on my young patients.
Proper teeth brushing is not a habit that children learn overnight. It’s a process that takes time to develop and perfect. Because of this, children may develop decay on hard-to-reach molars. Dental sealants offer protection for molars and premolar chewing surfaces from decay.
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic film that is applied to teeth as a key means of cavity prevention, according to the American Dental Association. The procedure is simple. First, my team and I fill any spots of decay, and then we prepare the teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. The solution is thoroughly rinsed after about 15 seconds, the surface is dried, and the teeth are coated with the sealant. The entire procedure is fast and comfortable, so it easily done on young children.
Dental sealants create an impenetrable physical barrier for small food particles and cavity-causing bacteria, which makes them highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities. Sealants can last up to 10 years, which means that the teeth are protected through most of the child’s developmental years.