If you have children, you know how easy it is for cavities to form! Tooth decay now affects more than one-fourth of American children aged 2-5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number jumps for older children. Half of children between the ages of 12 and 15 have at least one cavity.
Dental sealants are one way to help protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which are filled with tiny grooves referred to as “pits and fissures.” These grooves trap bacteria and food particles, which lead to cavities.
Dental sealants are invisible plastic resin coatings that smooth out the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, making them resistant to decay. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity, which can save your child from developing a toothache or save you from having to spend money on more extensive dental treatment like fillings or crowns later on.
How Sealants Are Placed
First, we will examine the tooth or teeth to be sealed, and if any minimal decay is found, we will remove it gently. The tooth will then be cleaned and dried. Then we will apply a solution that will slightly roughen the surface to make the sealing material adhere better. The tooth is then rinsed and dried again. The sealant is then painted on the tooth in liquid form and it hardens in about a minute, sometimes with the help of a curing light. It’s that easy, and best of all, it’s painless.
Taking Care of Sealants
You take care of sealed teeth the same way you do unsealed teeth. Your child should brush and floss daily, and visit us for regular professional cleanings. This will give us a chance to check for wear and tear on the sealants, which typically last for up to 10 years. During this time, your child will benefit from a preventive treatment proven to reduce decay by more than 70 percent.
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