Children may not fully develop their tooth brushing skills for some time, and a good rule of thumb is that a child that who is proficient in handwriting most likely will have developed enough skill for brushing without assistance. Sometimes brushing alone, even for the most proficient child, is not enough. Everyone has hard-to-reach spots in their mouths, and brushing doesn’t always fully clean those difficult places. When that happens, your child is at risk of tooth decay. Using sealants on your child’s teeth gives your child an extra line of defense against tooth decay.
Dental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the deep grooves in the tooth’s chewing surface. When sealing a tooth, the grooves of the teeth are filled and the tooth surface becomes smoother — and less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure and can be useful not only throughout childhood but as an adult as well. It is common to see adults with intact sealants from childhood. Sealants are checked during your child’s dental checkup to ensure that they continue providing protection through the years. Every child has unique needs and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case by case basis.