If your dentist mentioned that dental sealants might be beneficial for your child, you may have a few questions or concerns. This article was written to tell you more about exactly what dental sealants are, how they work and how they might be able to help improve your child's oral health. 

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are liquid barriers that your dentist paints onto your child's teeth. Usually, they're used on the teeth in the back of the mouth. Those back teeth are the ones that tend to be most vulnerable to decay as a child grows, simply because they're the hardest to access whilst brushing and flossing. The dental sealant shields your child's teeth from bacteria and prevents tiny food particles from getting lodged between the teeth. 

The Dental Sealant Application Process

The dental sealant application process can be done in one quick visit to your dentist's office. There's no discomfort or pain. In many cases, the dentist recommends applying the dental sealant immediately after your child's regular teeth cleaning. This means that the sealant goes onto the teeth whilst they're at their cleanest. Clean teeth make the best surface for the sealant, and this also means that your child starts from a place of optimal oral health when the sealant is applied for the first time. 

Sealant is applied to each individual tooth in turn using a paintbrush-like dental tool. As mentioned above, sealants are usually applied to the molars but may also be used on the front teeth if it's recommended by the dentist. Dental sealants harden into place quite quickly, and your child can generally resume normal activity straight away after having the sealant applied. 

Care of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants require no special attention—they're simply there to protect the teeth. It's very important to help your child understand that dental sealants don't mean that good oral healthcare is no longer necessary. Bacteria can still get into the gums and can penetrate the teeth roots—and even the bone below—if your child doesn't continue to brush and floss every day. Continue the brushing and flossing routine recommended by your dentist—typically this means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing every night before bedtime. 

Between dental sealants, regular visits to the dentist, and good oral healthcare routines at home, there's no reason that your child can't enjoy optimal oral health. Speak to your dentist about whether dental sealants are needed for your child today.