As a parent, it is your job to ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and cavity-free. One strategy that you can have on your side is the use of dental sealants, which are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to become, hard, plastic shields. When sealants are placed onto the teeth, they can keep bacteria from reaching the enamel to cause decay, which could ultimately cause a cavity.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, dental sealants are quite efficient at protecting the teeth. They were actually shown to reduce decay by 81% two years after placement, and they can be that effective for up to 4-5 years after they are put onto the teeth. For this reason, many parents wonder if they should be getting repeat sealants in order to protect their child’s teeth for longer than that time frame.
It’s not common for children to have repeat sealants, but that doesn’t make it impossible or a bad idea. Sealants are thought to last for 15 years, but the need sometimes does pop up for a repeat. If your child grinds his teeth, the added pressure to the chewing surfaces could cause the sealant to wear down a lot sooner than anticipated.
Additionally, habits of chewing on ice or pens could cause the sealant to break down a lot faster than expected, and in these cases, repeat sealants may be recommended so that your child’s teeth can continue to receive the protection that they need.
If your child’s teeth haven’t been sealed yet, contact our office the day that you start discussing this option. The sooner the teeth are sealed; the sooner you will be able to start protecting them against decay. Just remember that even with sealants in place your child will still need to maintain a good oral health routine.