You do everything you can to give your child what you think they deserve. From taking them to soccer practice, to feeding them full servings of veggies, to ensuring that they brush their teeth morning and night, giving your kids their best chance at a healthy and happy life is your top priority. When it comes to oral health, it’s never too early to start instilling the values of brushing and flossing. Leading by example is a great way to show kids how to care for their mouths, but sometimes even the best parents find that they struggle to make sure their children do an adequate job caring for their oral hygiene. Dental sealants are one way that we can intervene and help to protect our children’s teeth from cavities and decay! If you’ve considered having sealants placed on your child’s teeth, you may have found yourself wondering how long they will last and how your child can increase their longevity.
A Bit of Background
Dental sealants are plastic covers that are placed over the molars and premolars to fill in grooves and fissures and keep out bacteria. Typically placed on the newly erupted chewing edge of children’s teeth, they can help stop decay and protect new teeth as they emerge into the mouth.
The Longevity of Dental Sealants
It’s understandable that one may be concerned about the longevity of something that seems as simple as a plastic cover, but dental sealants are designed to be durable. Generally, they can stay on the teeth for a decade or more with proper care! Unlike other dental treatments such as braces, sealants do not need to be removed. Instead, they will wear away over time until they are completely gone. As they wear down, new sealants can be added in their place. As long as the teeth are not overly stressed, sealants are durable and sturdy and should last for many years. Activities such as chewing hard foods like ice and popcorn kernels or using teeth to open tough packing can wear down both natural enamel and dental sealants. After sealants have been applied, your dentist will check on their condition each time you come in for a checkup. If he or she notices they have worn, the dentist will make adjustments as needed.
A Word of Warning
While sealants are an excellent way to help prevent decay and cavities, they do not substitute routine oral hygiene. It is important to explain to any child who has sealants placed that a diligent routine of twice daily brushing and regular flossing must be kept up to maintain good oral health. A child whose permanent teeth have grown in and who is particularly prone to cavities may want to increase their fluoride intake to help strengthen their enamel and fend off pesky dental caries.
If you think dental sealants might be a good option for your child, or if it’s time to have your sealants updated, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist!
To schedule your next appointment give us a call at Sunrise Dental Care in Geneva today!