Statistics show that kids without dental sealants are three times more likely to develop cavities than those who do. Therefore, it is important to prevent your child’s teeth from cavities using sealants. However, in a few cases, kids may not need this preventive treatment. Continue reading to find out when not to get your child dental sealants.
Why Does Your Child Need Dental Sealants?
Molars and premolars contain grooves and pits, which are hard for kids to clean well. Therefore, plaque and bacteria hide in these areas resulting in tooth decay. Dental sealants are plastic coatings applied on the teeth to help protect against cavities.
The layer creates a smooth surface over the teeth. Therefore, your child will easily clean their molars and premolars. The clear or tooth-colored resin also helps keep out food debris, acids, bacteria, and plaque. In addition, they can protect your child’s teeth from decay for up to a decade.
Dental Sealant Procedure
Applying a sealant is simple, painless, and fast. It does not require the administration of an anesthetic or sedative. Here is what you can expect when you take your kid to the children’s dentistry in Lincoln.
- The dental hygienist or dentist will carefully clean your teeth. They will focus on the hard-to-reach places of the tooth to be sealed.
- They will then dry each tooth and isolate it using an absorbent material like cotton.
- The dentist will apply a mild etching solution on these teeth to roughen their chewing surfaces. This enables the sealant to bond to the teeth.
- The solution is washed off after a few seconds then the tooth is dried.
- Next, the dentist will paint the liquid sealant into the pits and grooves of the molars and premolars.
- Finally, they will use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
Who Requires Sealants?
Once your child’s first permanent molar erupts at age six, you should take them to the dentist. Your dentist will examine your child’s mouth before recommending sealants. The experts at the pediatric dental offices in Lincoln, NE, will look for a few indications.
For example, they will check if your child has a history of cavities. If they have had multiple holes in the past, the dentist will recommend getting sealants. The tooth coatings will reduce the risk of cavities in the future. The dentist will also determine if the kid can practice proper oral hygiene. They will recommend sealant application if the child has difficulties with dental hygiene.
In addition, the pediatric dentist will examine the kid’s teeth to check for deep grooves and pits. If the child has them, the dentists advise the parents to bring them for a dental sealant procedure. Your child will also need sealants if they have thin enamel due to genetic factors. The protective coating is applied to help prevent tooth sensitivity and further enamel erosion.
Adults, too, can get sealants to protect against cavities. Even though they maintain good oral hygiene, biochemistry changes in their saliva makeup increase the risk of caries. Those with extreme tooth sensitivity may get dental sealants for sensitive teeth. Adults with poor hand dexterity due to disease, disability, or old age can also benefit from sealants.
Does Insurance Cover Sealants?
Yes, insurance covers dental sealants because they are part of preventive dentistry. Patients below 18 years receive full cover for a dental sealant procedure or repairs. Adults’ sealants are not covered by insurance. However, you can get them at a good price at a family dental in Lincoln, NE.
When Are Sealants Not Ideal for Kids?
Sealants may not be ideal for kids who:
- Cannot sit still until the application process is complete
- Can brush their teeth properly, including the molars and molars
- Have shallow grooves or relatively smooth molars and premolars surface
- Have a sensitive gag reflex that prevents the dentist from reaching the back teeth
- They cannot keep their tongue from touching the tooth being sealed
Are you interested in getting sealants for your child but are unsure if they are necessary? Then book a consultation appointment with us at Lincoln Children’s dentistry. Our team of experts, led by Dr. Rebecca F. Scott, DDS, will evaluate your child’s teeth. Then, if they need the sealants, we will ensure they are applied correctly for optimum protection against caries.