Sealants for Children – Dentist in Johns Creek, GA

Today I’d like to talk to you about the advantages of preventative dentistry. Many of the difficulties older generations experience with their teeth are ones that can now be avoided through a lifetime of routine preventative dental care.

This care begins with regular visits to the dentist from an early age. By the time a child is old enough to develop molars and cooperate with a dentist’s requests, he is old enough to receive a crucial preventative treatment: Sealants.

Sealants are just as they sound. They seal back molar teeth to keep out harmful bacteria and therefore prevent the formation of decay. I generally apply sealants to children’s molars as the molars come in, between the ages of 6 and 13. I carefully clean and dry the tooth and “paint” on a clear, plastic, protective coating. It’s a little bit like a clear coat of nail polish, but for a tooth. The sealant protects the tooth’s surface and crevices from harmful bacteria and decay and is shown to last for years, and in many cases, long into adulthood. Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and have been shown to reduce tooth decay tremendously. We’re talking about 90% to 100%! The best part is that for a fraction of the cost of a filling you can prevent yourself or a loved one from ever needing a filling, root canal or crown.

This not only adds up to a smart choice for the health of your child’s mouth, but also for your pocketbook as the costs of repairing decay can add up to a lot more than the costs of preventing it. Many insurance carriers offer coverage for sealants and many times they cover them 100%. The one downside is that they only cover them until your child reaches age 12 or 14. So it pays to have them done while they are young and prevent countless unnecessary dental procedures in the future.

Sealants do not take long to apply and never require the patient to be numbed. So it is one of the most pain free procedures we offer. We generally see children to apply sealants and they can go back to school to resume their day right after their appointment. They are even able to eat on them immediately following their application. Our office is central to the Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Johns Creek area school districts to make routine visits easy and convenient.

Once your family is in the habit of visiting the dentist on a regular basis, it waylays fears and procrastination and helps the whole brood maintain clean, healthy, and fresh smiles. Sealants are just another measure that will help ensure your children’s long-term dental health.

Do your children have dental sealants? Why or why not?

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Sending your Teen to the Dentist

School is in swing and your teen has a full plate with homework, friends, and perhaps a part-time job or first love. They’re likely implementing privacy barriers (i.e., closed bedroom doors and secret text messages) and trying to take charge of their own, separate lives.

This coming of age is a tough transition for parents and teens alike. You’re at a crossroads when you set up health appointments for your child and trust him or her to both attend the appointment and accurately relay medical information back to you. You want to give your child space and demonstrate your trust, but feel it’s your duty as a parent to ensure his or her health and well-being.

I know this is an important transition for families and like to partner with them to bridge the communication gap that frequently occurs during this time between parent, child, and provider.

I’d like to share with you helpful tips to transition your teens into taking charge of their own dental health.

– Remind your child to arrive 10-15 minutes early to check-in and complete any paperwork.
– Prior to the appointment, have them write down any dental concerns they would like to 
discuss  with the dentist.
– Equip them with their insurance card and co-payment monies as applicable.
– Schedule the appointment so a parent can attend if it pertains to major decisions such
as cosmetic dentistry, orthodontia alternatives, or dental repair work.

We welcome teens to come alone to their appointments and will work to make their experience a positive one through a timely appointment and a detailed explanation of their oral check-up. We’ll also provide them with post-appointment instructions on how to maintain their oral health care.

Additionally, our office staff will follow up with a phone call to parents to relay any pertinent information about their child’s visit. As a family-centered practice, we understand this time of transition and have the tools in place to make it a success for everyone involved! As always, we invite open discussion and ask you to call or stop in any time we can help your family with dental care questions or concerns.

Which dental health practices do you need help reinforcing with your teens? Flossing? Routine brushing? Which behaviors would you like us to help curb? Teeth grinding? Nail biting? Chewing on pen caps? We’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, be well!

Dr. Ushma Patel