Super Shields (Dental Sealants)
Even with excellent oral hygiene, there is always the possibility that harmful bacteria can make their way into the grooved recesses of teeth and start the process of decay. Dental sealants were designed to provide an extra layer of protection for the grinding molars located at the back of the mouth. The pits on the surface of molar teeth are prime areas for both food and bacteria to collect. Dental sealants, seal off naturally occurring deep grooves (known as pits and fissures), in permanent molars and prevent bacteria from settling in and causing decay (cavities).
Dental coating for children’s teeth
Sealants are meant to protect young teeth, but both children and adults can benefit from them. It is recommended that children receive sealants when their six-year and twelve-year molars come in. Molars are the most susceptible teeth to decay, and sealants are designed to protect the deep grooves in these teeth.
Read: Your child's dental health timeline
The process of applying a sealant is quick and painless. After cleaning and drying the tooth, the dentist will apply an acidic gel, rinse the gel off and then paint on the sealant material. The sealant material is then cured with an ultra-violet light that takes the liquid form of the sealant and forms it into a hardened plastic like material that adheres to the deep grooves of the tooth.
We recommend sealants for patients at high risk of decay and those with particularly deep grooves in their molars.
Sealants are not a substitute for dental hygiene
Dental sealants have a long history of helping to reduce tooth decay significantly! Dental sealants offer an additional layer of protection in the deep grooves on the chewing surface of a molar. Cavities can still develop in between teeth and in other areas of a tooth, sometimes this can even occur in teeth that have been covered with a sealant if your child does not keep up daily hygiene routines. The longevity and efficacy of a sealant is impacted by the oral hygiene of the child, so it is important to keep brushing and flossing and minimize exposure to sugar.
Better daily cleaning means healthier teeth, so parents need to make sure that their kids keep up with brushing and flossing even after they have been given sealants.
Medicaid and most insurance plans cover dental sealants for high-risk kids, schedule an appointment to see if sealants could benefit your child.
Additional Resource: 9 tips to prevent tooth decay