When Should Children Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants can be an extremely useful tool in helping to maintain your child's dental hygiene. However, you may have found yourself wondering if it's worth getting dental sealants for your child before their adult teeth have fully come in. This guide will explain how children benefit from dental sealants at different ages and stages of dental development.

Baby Teeth

Dental sealants can help to reduce the risk of developing cavities, but it might seem fruitless to have them applied to baby teeth. After all, baby teeth are naturally designed to fall out once the adult teeth are ready to come in. However, you might be surprised to learn that the health of your child's baby teeth is just as important as the health of their adult teeth.

Baby teeth that decay can cause gum infections and potentially spread the decay to any adult teeth that have already burst through, but the damage can go even further. The roots of baby teeth act as a guidance system for adult teeth to move in. When your child's baby teeth naturally fall out, the tooth root remains behind, and the adult tooth moves into the exact same position. However, if your child's teeth have decayed and been removed or fallen out, that root isn't there any more, and the adult teeth may grow in crooked or badly misaligned.

Adult Teeth

Once your child's adult teeth burst through, it's imperative that you protect them. After all, if their adult teeth are damaged, there won't be a third set that moves in. However, you don't have to wait until all of your child's adult teeth are grown in. Since a child can start to lose their baby teeth as early as age six and keep having them come in by age thirteen, waiting until all of their adult teeth have grown in can increase your child's risk of cavities in their adult teeth.

Instead, consider having dental sealants applied to any teeth that have emerged from the gums when your child goes in for their regular dental cleanings. Whether those teeth are baby teeth or adult teeth, your child can benefit from an extra layer of protection on their teeth.

Dental sealants are a great way to help reduce the risk of dental decay, and they can benefit children of all ages. Consider adding dental sealants to regular dental cleanings and tooth brushing at home to keep your child's teeth clean and healthy. Contact a practice, such as Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD, for more information about sealants.