Why Should Teeth Be Sealed?
At Dentistry for Children in Utah, pediatric dentist Dr. Erik Rooklidge believes that dental sealants are incredibly important for his adolescent patients. Children in UT need sealants to prevent unnecessary cavities and instances of pediatric tooth decay.
Speaking from his office, Dr. Rooklidge says children in UT need sealants that cover the biting surfaces of their teeth. These surfaces naturally have small grooves that are very difficult to clean, mainly because they can trap food inside. Many children get cavities inside the grooves of their un-sealed teeth simply because they cannot take care of their teeth as well as needed.
To help these children along, and prevent unnecessary cavities, Dr. Rooklidge recommends that children in UT get sealants. What sealants do is fill in the grooves on the surface of the teeth. The process itself is quite easy and painless. Dr. Rooklidge paints sealants on the surface of his patients’ teeth and then shines a light inside the mouth. This light activates the sealant and makes the material hard once the sealant has filled in all the tiny tooth grooves.
Children in UT with sealants have teeth that are more cleanse-able and easier to maintain. Ideally, the real purpose behind dental sealants is to help prevent cavities and instances of pediatric tooth decay.
Dental sealants are usually recommended for children around age 6, which is the time when most children get their permanent molars. Dr. Rooklidge says that parents can wait until their children’s permanent molars are in place before bringing up sealants with their dentists, however most dentists will recommend it on their own when the timing is right. In addition to the molars that children get at age 6, Dr. Rooklidge says that adolescents get another set of molars around age 12. He recommends getting those molars covered with dental sealants, as well.
Although it is possible to cover baby molars, Dr. Rooklidge prefers deciding on whether that course of action is necessary on a case-by-case basis. Not every child needs to have his baby molars sealed, and Dr. Rooklidge is a conservative dentist who hesitates to do any treatments that are not absolutely necessary. Nonetheless, the anatomy of some children’s teeth makes it so they could benefit from sealant on their baby molars. In those cases, he is more than happy to go in and do that.
Dr. Rooklidge says that sealants will need to be touched up every five years, however most dentists will let their patients know when the time is right to have their sealant touch-ups done.
Sandy, UT 84070
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.