Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to cavities, but dental sealants provide an extra line of defense. At West End Dental in Downtown Washington, DC, Lauren Izadi, DDS, Edward Kim, MS, DDS, and the team administer dental sealants to prevent tooth decay. Sealants quickly bond to the teeth and require no special care. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.
Dental sealants are thin coatings of composite resin that cover the chewing surfaces of your teeth. The team at West End Dental typically applies sealants to the teeth at the back of the mouth, because they’re more difficult to clean.
Good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing can effectively remove food particles and plaque, but it isn’t always enough to reach all of the nooks and crannies at the back of your mouth. Sealants provide additional protection by sealing out harmful bacteria and tartar.
People of all ages can benefit from sealants, but the team at West End Dental usually recommends them for children and teenagers. This is because young people are more susceptible to cavities in the grooves of their molars and premolars.
To achieve the best possible outcome, the team recommends applying dental sealants as soon as your child’s permanent teeth come in. Sealants last for a long time and keep your child’s teeth healthy, particularly during the cavity-prone ages of 6-14.
Getting dental sealants requires a single in-office appointment.
Prior to application, your child’s West End Dental provider conducts an oral exam and cleaning. Afterward, they dry each tooth and apply an acid solution to roughen up the chewing surfaces. This makes it easier for the sealants to stick.
Next, your child’s provider rinses and dries their teeth one last time and begins applying the sealants. They carefully paint the resin onto the chewing surfaces of each tooth. Then, they point a special light at the solution, drying and hardening it.
Your child’s provider repeats these same steps several times until each molar and premolar receives adequate protection. Most dental sealant appointments take 30-60 minutes. There’s no recovery period, so your child can return to normal activities right away.
Dental sealants are incredibly sturdy and can protect teeth from cavities for up to 10 years. Like crowns and fillings, sealants are susceptible to wear-and-tear caused by chewing and biting. Therefore, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and visit West End Dental every six months for a professional exam.
If possible, try and encourage your child to avoid bad habits like nail-biting or chewing on ice. These activities can shorten the lifespan of dental sealants, causing them to chip or flake away.
To learn more about the benefits of dental sealants, schedule an appointment at West End Dental. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.