Surveys show that the majority of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria are not easily cleaned out. Dental Sealants are one of the most common and effective techniques used by our dental team to prevent this decay in young children.
We often get questions from parents about the use of dental sealants, so we thought we’d share the answers to our top three most frequently asked questions in this post:
#1 What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are materials placed in the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth creating a smooth surface that is easy to clean and preventing tooth decay. Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted, and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on the surfaces of molars and premolars. Dental sealants act as a barrier to “seal-off” space between the tooth surface and any small food particles or bacteria that may otherwise cause a cavity in an “unsealed” tooth.
#2 Why use Dental Sealants?
Made of a durable resin dental sealants fill and ‘seal’ the depressions and grooves in the surface of these back teeth that are vulnerable to collections of plaque and food. Even with a good brushing and flossing routine, these fissures can prove very difficult to keep clear. Dental sealants are a practical solution to keep the germs and food particles that lead to decay out of these grooves.
#3 How are Dental Sealants Applied and How Long do they Last?
Applying a dental sealant is an easy and painless process that can be completed during your child’s important oral health care visit. The dentist places the sealant directly onto back teeth where it will bond to the tooth under a curing light.
Paired with twice-daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, a healthy diet and visiting the dentist twice a year to monitor the sealants’ placement or bond on the tooth, properly applied dental sealants are highly effective in preventing cavities and can last several years before they may need to be replaced.
Remember that dental sealants do not protect against gum disease such as gingivitis, oral cancer or many common dental conditions. Regular dental visits are vital to monitor your child’s overall oral health.
Contact us now to ask our team more about dental sealants, or for an appointment with our dental team to discuss whether dental sealants are right for your family.
Benefits of dental sealants:
- Paired with good oral health care, sealants are very effective against cavities in teeth that are sealed and properly maintained.
- Minimally invasive, safe and effective preventive procedure.
- Costs less than getting a cavity filled.