Developmental Milestone: Permanent Teeth and Dental Sealants

It was July last year when our 6 year old son’s first lower permanent incisors started pushing out.  Having a healthy set of teeth, both milk teeth were still very much intact. One was actually tougher than usual to pull out. It really is a good thing that we introduced our son to a dentist early in his childhood. He was less than two years old that time, I believe. It paved the way for a good early introduction. I remember when I was little visiting the dentist was the least that I look forward to. And that’s putting it lightly. It also helped a lot that we also were able to have him embrace the importance of oral hygiene. He does not do the ideal “Happy Birthday” song twice when he brushes but at least he makes it a point to brush at least twice a day.

It was a week before our son’s 7th birthday when we first saw another two lower incisors pushing out. My initial response was to have the milk teeth extracted to make way for the new teeth. But hubby insisted that we wait until after his birthday celebration. We would not want him to be uncomfortable having an awkward smile on his special day.

Since our son was scheduled for his oral prophylaxis, Doc Pinky also inspected the rest of his teeth. We found out that our little man already has four permanent back teeth (molars).  Aside from that, he was warned to take care not to use his two upper teeth until after his birthday. Both are ready to fall out as the replacement permanent teeth are already pushing their way out!  While Jed might not be the first 7 year old to celebrate his birthday toothless, he prefers to have them on if he can. His birthday celebration is but just two days away, anyway. 🙂

When Doc Pinky saw that our son has four permanent molars, she suggested for him to have dental sealant done after the oral prophylaxis. It was actually the first time I have heard of it.  She briefly explained to me what that is and it did make sense to have my son’s molars protected. Ordinarily, I will have to look something up, its safety, benefits and overall reputation before we give it a go. But because we trust our dentist, we had one of Jed’s molar sealed.  Doc Pinky said to just have one molar done for him have a feel of it and do the rest later.

Why is it important for a child’s back teeth to have dental sealant? The grooves of our back teeth are so narrow that ordinary toothbrush cannot fit into those spaces to prevent plaque. Dental sealants protect those grooves from decay caused by plaque. Totally made sense to me, since my back teeth were the first ones that needed filling in my elementary days.

The application of dental sealant is similar to having a light cure filling, from what I observed. The tooth is etched with a mild acid to create retention for the sealant. It is then rinsed and air dried. The liquid sealant, which is flouride fortified is painted into the grooves of the teeth.  Lastly,  high intensity light is used to activate the liquid plastic to harden.

the farthest back molar with dental sealant

Our son, for the most part, breezed through the whole procedure. It was good that Doc Pinky encouraged him to count with her as they waited for the light cure to finish. They counted  from 1 to 25.  Aside from that and the sealant tasted funny, he chattered away trying to tell stories in between procedures.

Dental sealants is  definitely an option that parents should look into as it outweighs the benefits more than the cost. Dental Prices vary. But this only cost us five hundred pesos. While its potential can last up to ten years. Everything considered, it will cost us more to have a filling done in the future than have the sealing done now that our son’s molar is practically brand new and plaque free.

Developmental Milestone: Permanent Teeth and Dental Sealants

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