How Long Do Dental Sealants for Kids Last?
Brushing and flossing are by far the two best ways to prevent cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
However, there are some hard-to-reach areas in our mouth that we simply can’t brush or floss well, so we must rely on other means to protect our teeth. This especially goes for back teeth or molars, which are the perfect places for leftover food and bacteria thriving on it. However, there’s a way to help your child reduce the risk of developing cavities and other dental issues that are usually related to back teeth, and it comes in the form of dental sealants. So, if you are curious to find out how long do dental sealants for children last and how precisely they could help your kid maintain optimal dental health, we suggest you keep reading.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are one of the preventive dental treatments with the longest tradition that have shown exceptional results when it comes to fighting off cavities and tooth decay. They are usually applied on chewing surfaces of back teeth or molars where they create a thin protective barrier against food and bacteria.
How Effective Are They and How Long Do They Last?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants will protect against 80% of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years. Additionally, the CDC says that sealants can remain in the mouth for 9 years but they will probably wear away at some point. Therefore, they need to get checked during regular dental appointments every 6 months. If a child loses a sealant, they will become susceptible to getting cavities once again. Lost sealants are easy to replace, though. All in all, dental sealants are a quick and easy way to protect teeth against cavities and more importantly, they are less expensive than dental fillings or crowns.
When to Apply Dental Sealants?
You should ask your dentist to apply dental sealants to your child’s back teeth as soon as they become eligible for this treatment. It will provide them with a great shield against cavities, which is one of the most common dental diseases among children and teens. Approximately, the best time to schedule this treatment for your kid is by the time they get their first and second molars (around ages of 6 and 12, respectively).
What Does the Treatment Look Like?
The great thing about this dental treatment is that it’s entirely painless and lasts no longer than a few minutes. A dentist will clean the tooth and place the gel that will help it dry quickly. Then, they will paint a thin layer on a tooth and use the special light to quickly harden it. After the treatment, it might feel a bit odd under the tongue but this sensation will go away as soon as your child gets used to it.
Where to Get Sealants?
You shouldn’t be reluctant to speak to your dentist about sealants during your child’s regular dental visits. They will give you the best possible recommendations and schedule the treatment for your child. Also, some schools offer sealants as part of community health programs. You can ask your child’s school to see if they have one and then enroll your child into the program.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Sealants?
The majority of dental insurances or dental plans do cover sealants but we suggest you get in touch with your dental benefit company to see whether you qualify for this type of coverage.
Are Dental Sealants Safe for My Child?
Dental sealants are usually made of different materials. Your child might be allergic to some of these components, so we recommend that you speak to your dentist before you schedule the treatment for your kid. While it’s true that dental sealants do contain very small amounts of BPA, rest assured that it’s not enough to do your child any harm. We get exposed to more BPA by using various cosmetic products, for instance.
Dental sealants are a great addition to other preventive care treatments that will ensure your child has a healthy and happy smile for the years to come. With the mind-blowing potential to last for up to 9 years and even longer, this treatment is a great way to help your child fight cavities and other forms of tooth decay. And given it’s far more affordable than a dental filling or a crown, there’s no reason not to invest in it – it could help you save a lot on dental expenses and prevent your child from having many painful conditions in the future.
Have you considered getting dental sealants for your child? Do you think they are worth the investment? Tell us all about it in the comment section below!