If your child is struggling with cavities, your dentist might recommend dental sealants. Sealants are thin layers of resin that your dentist can apply to tooth pits and the grooves of your child's teeth. Sealants can help prevent cavities because they act as a layer of protection for enamel. Because sealants reduce the risk of decay, your child may not need restorative procedures, like root canals, crowns, etc. in the future. Before you take your child to a dental appointment, however, you need to make sure they are a good candidate for sealants.
Will Your Child Sit Still Long Enough?
The leading cause of sealant failure is salivary contamination. Moisture control methods, like dry angles, cotton rolls, saliva ejectors, etc. can feel invasive to some young children, and they might not sit still long enough for the dentist to use them properly.
It's important for your child to sit still during sealant placement because if saliva is trapped underneath the sealant, it could trap harmful bacteria that can lead to decay—thus ruining the sealant's intended purpose.
If your child isn't wanting to sit still for sealants because they are anxious, you may want to visit a pediatric or a family dentist. Family dental offices work with a variety of children and can help your child feel comfortable enough to be compliant for the sealant procedure.
Have Your Child's Teeth Fully Erupted?
Even if your child is willing to sit during an appointment, they may not be a good candidate for sealants if they only have partially erupted teeth. Even with moisture control methods in place, partially erupted teeth are often too moist to receive traditional adhesives. Ask your dentist how you can help your child protect their teeth until they have fully erupted and are ready for sealants.
Will Your Child Be Compliant with Follow-up Appointments?
Although the sealant procedure is short in length and doesn't require local anesthetic, some children may not be compliant if they have to do repeat appointments. You should not only consider how long your child will sit for one appointment, but also how they will comply with follow-up appointments. According to Spear Education, the majority of sealant failures can occur in the first six months, so it's important for your child to have a follow-up appointment and be willing to have the procedure redone if necessary.
Reach out to a family dentist in your area to learn more.Share
21 December 2020
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