How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities? Pediatric Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Dental plaque and tartar love to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. If your child often gets cavities, their pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants. A tooth sealant covers the grooves and divots on the chewing surface of molars where plaque accumulates. Contact us today with any questions or for more information.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ask your pediatric dentist how they plan to protect your child’s smile. Our experienced dentist and staff are waiting to help your keep your child's teeth healthy with dental sealants.

Preventing Cavities With Dental Sealants

Seals Chewing Surfaces of Teeth

No matter how much you try to reinforce healthy habits for your child, he or she may still be neglecting back teeth when they brush. Fortunately, our pediatric dentist can seal back teeth so they’re less likely to collect food particles and plaque.

We recommend watching your child to make sure they brush teeth long enough. Many children (and adults) are guilty of not brushing for at least 2 minutes. If your child has difficulty doing this, we recommend singing their favorite song so time seems to pass more quickly. This will also give your child a frame of reference for how long to brush teeth.

Reduces Hiding Places for Plaque

The bacteria in dental plaque love to eat sugar and starch left behind on your child’s teeth. If left untreated, plaque produces acid that erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities. It may be difficult for your child to reach back teeth with their toothbrush, which is why we often recommend dental sealants. A tooth sealant covers the fissures and pits on the chewing surface where plaque likes to hide.

Levels the Playing Field

Recent studies suggest a link between genetics and oral health. This means there’s a chance you or the other parent could have passed down traits making your child more susceptible to cavities. For example, children with soft tooth enamel are more prone to getting cavities.

No one likes the sound of a dental drill, especially when it’s meant for them. If several family members have poor oral health, you may want to consider dental sealants to level the playing field for your child. A tooth sealant significantly reduces your child’s risk of getting a cavity by covering depressions and grooves where plaque likes to hide.

Protects Tooth Enamel

Lost tooth enamel is gone for good. This is why it’s important to choose a pediatric dentist who understands the importance of preventive care. A tooth sealant is a thin plastic coating your child’s dentist paints onto teeth. This coating protects enamel from being eroded by acids inside the mouth. We recommend your child get dental sealants as soon as their premolars or permanent molars erupt. That way, they’ll be protected from cavities during the “danger zone” between ages 6 and 14.

Dr. Kingma DDS and his team are dedicated to helping your child maintain a healthy smile. We offer a range of dental services and are always happy to answer any questions you might have about your child’s oral health. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids pediatric dentist, call (616) 942-9840.