Dental Sealants In Bethesda

Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?

If your child is cavity-prone, dental sealants are a fantastic way to reduce the risk of further cavities and the need for fillings and crowns in the future. Sealants are a thin layer of plastic, and are applied to the rear molars to help prevent tooth decay. The procedure at Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is fast, non-invasive, and affordable, making it a great choice for most kids.

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Did you know…

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Sealants are usually 100% covered by dental insurance plans for kids under 18. Make the most of your benefits by contacting us for an appointment now.

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What To Expect From The Dental Sealants Process

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Teeth cleaning & oral exam

To begin the process, your child will need a comprehensive oral exam and teeth cleaning. This ensures that their mouth is healthy, and helps Dr. Sholander or Dr. Goodman determine if sealants are right for them.

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Preparing the tooth

Sealants are usually applied in the same appointment as your child’s oral exam and teeth cleaning. The next step in the process is to prepare your little one’s tooth. A very mild acid will be applied to their rear molars. This roughens the surface to ensure the sealants bond properly to the tooth.

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Applying the sealant

Your child’s teeth will be rinsed and dried. Then, Dr. Goodman or Dr. Sholander will apply a liquid resin sealant to each molar, coating it thoroughly to provide complete coverage of the tooth.

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Hardening the dental sealant

When the sealant has been applied, a special UV (ultraviolet) light will be used to “cure” the sealant, causing a chemical reaction that turns it from a liquid to a solid. This completes the procedure.

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How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Sealants usually last anywhere from 5-10 years, making them a great long-lasting option for preventing cavities However, they don’t last forever. Over time, they may begin to fail and flake off of the tooth. This is harmless, but if this happens, your child should see Dr. Sholander or Dr. Goodman to have their sealants replaced.

How Often Should I Have My Child’s Sealants Reapplied?

This depends on your child’s oral health and whether they’re highly susceptible to cavities. Most kids will get their first set of sealants when their first permanent molars come out, which is usually at the age of 6 or 7.

Then, your child will get another set of sealants at about age 12, when their final set of 2nd molars erupts. At this time, Dr. Goodman or Dr. Sholander may check their first set of sealants to see if they’re still in good shape. At this time, they may choose to apply a new set of sealants to your child’s mouth.

After this, your child’s dental sealants may need to be replaced every 5-10 years, or whenever they wear out. During your child’s routine visits to Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Sholander or Dr. Goodman will check their sealants to make sure they’re in good condition.

In addition, they may stop recommending sealants altogether if your child has a healthy mouth, and they no longer believe your child has a raised risk of cavities. In most kids, treatment with sealants will be discontinued in their late teens or early adulthood.

Did you know…

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Kids laugh around 400 times per day.

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Have questions about preventive dentistry for your child? Find answers here.

How can I ensure my child is brushing properly?

You should brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes until they’re 6 years old, or are able to tie their shoes on their own. After this, we recommend making brushing a family activity. You can demonstrate proper technique to your children, and make sure they’re brushing regularly.

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How do I floss my child’s teeth?

You will need to floss your child’s teeth for them until they’re about 10, since it’s a lot harder to learn proper flossing technique than it is to learn proper brushing technique. 

Flossing your child’s teeth will not be dissimilar to flossing your own. Depending on their age, you may need to find a toy or distraction to keep them entertained while you floss their teeth. Floss holders may be helpful for toddlers so they don’t bite your fingers. Just make sure you’re flossing between every two teeth that make contact and behind their most rear molar. 

We recommend flossing your child’s teeth once per day, and having them rinse with water or mouthwash after flossing to remove any food particles that were dislodged during the process. 

Why are my child’s baby teeth important?

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Healthy baby teeth are essential for your child to eat and chew properly, and damaged or decayed baby teeth can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort. Though they will fall out naturally as your child ages, your child’s baby teeth should remain in place until they fall out on their own, the last of which is typically around age 12. If they lose one or more teeth prematurely, this can affect their future oral development. This is because baby teeth help form the “paths” that the adult teeth follow when they emerge. If your child loses one or more baby teeth prematurely, this can lead to future oral development problems. 

Is my child’s preventive care covered by my dental insurance?

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Yes. Almost every dental insurance plan covers preventive care, like six-month cleanings and exams, for dependents. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be covered, in some cases. However, coverage for each insurer and dental plan varies, so we recommend consulting directly with your insurer to learn about coverage limits for pediatric preventive care, covered treatments, and other such information. 

Did you know…

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Around 85% of children see the dentist regularly. 

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