Dental Sealants: How Children's Dental Care Specialists Use Them To Fight Cavities

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Your kids may have a genetic predisposition to dental decay. Regardless of the amount of good oral hygiene they have or their avoidance of sweets, they may seem to get more cavities than other people do. To help this issue, dental care specialists at can use sealants on your children's teeth. The article below explains what sealants are made of, how they are applied, and how they protect your children's teeth.

The Ingredients in Sealants

Understandably, you would want to know what makes a dental sealant resistant to the decaying sugars and acids found in many foods. If it has the power to resist decay, what else could it do to your child? Relax, there is nothing to fear. Many dental sealants are actually made of plastic resins, although a dentist may choose to use a dental cement sealant instead. If you are still concerned with extra plastic in your child's mouth, the dentist can use the sealing cement instead, which does not contain any of the usual chemicals found in plastic sealants.

Applying Sealants

Applying the sealants is quick and easy. After your child's dental cleaning, the teeth are dried with the little air blaster. Then, a very thin layer of an acidic compound is applied to roughen the pits and grooves of the molars where sealants are typically applied. Next, a layer of plastic resin so thin that it's completely imperceptible afterwards is laid evenly over the molars and into the pits and grooves. It is then cured with a blue spectrum light, and your child's teeth are now protected for a few years. (If your child grinds his or her teeth, the duration of the protection is lessened--but it is still better than no sealant at all.)

How the Sealants Work

Because the plastic resin or dental cement sealant fills the grooves and pits of your child's teeth, sugars and acidic foods cannot embed themselves on the microscopic level. Ergo, they cannot decay or cause deterioration to your child's teeth and are easily brushed away because of the raised surface area.

Requesting the Sealants

If your child is not perceived to be at risk for more dental cavities, your dental care specialist will not apply them or suggest that they should be applied. If you want them applied to your children's teeth, you should make a special request. You may want to double check your dental insurance policy as well, because some dental insurance policies do not cover sealants. This may also be the reason why your dentist has never suggested that your children receive the sealants.