If you are parent, you must have good understanding about the importance of protecting your child’s teeth in a way like that protecting permanent teeth. Dentists think in the same way. Therefore, it is a general recommendation by American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for the sealants to be applied to the first and second set of permanent molars. These molars usually appear in the mouth at the age of 6 and 12. Furthermore, the dentist may also feel the need of replacing sealants well before the arrival of permanent teeth. But there have to be some reasons for this replacement.
The dental sealants
Before we talk about re-application of sealants, it is worth discussing what the sealants really are. Sealant is basically a hardened plastic shield which is applied to the molar sides which come under impact while chewing foods. In other words, the sealants basically seal the surfaces of molars and pre-molars. The main job of sealants is to keep food particles and bacteria from settling in the uneven gaps and cause tooth decay. This way, you can prevent the cavities in your child’s teeth. According to a study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “sealants where shown to reduce decay in permanent molars by 81% approximately 2 years after placement and continue to be effective up to 4.5 years after placement.”
So, if you are really curious about getting your child’s molars protected from tooth decay and cavities, dental sealants is the way to go.
Is sealant replacement a common procedure?
The replacement of sealants is not very common. However, it doesn’t really mean that it’s a complicated process. Re-application should be as easier as the first-time application. However, the fact should be considered that sealants are made to last up to 15 years. So, the need for replacement of sealants would mean that there must be some specific reasons behind this need. In most of the instances, it is the child’s dental habits which are to be blamed. For example, the children may have the habit of grinding the teeth or chewing hard substances like pencil. Such habits can crack the sealants and make it necessary to go for a replacement immediately. Chewing hard candy or ice can also cause sealants to break, crack or lose the grip.
Lastly, the need of replacement of sealant can arise due to sudden trauma or accident which would impact teeth. Tooth abnormalities can also lead to the need of replacement of sealants. Another rare reason for the need to replace sealant is the type of sealant that has been applied to the teeth before.