March 6, 2018
Did you know that the first permanent molars come in around the age of six? That means these teeth have to last many, many decades – in fact, an entire lifetime! Since we only get one set of adult teeth, it’s well worth it to learn how to protect them from cavities from the very beginning. Thankfully, prevention is relatively easy and can save your child from spending a lot of time (or money) in the dental chair as they grow into adulthood.
Unfortunately, even with good brushing and flossing habits, the back teeth can still be susceptible to cavities. So, what can you do? Consider dental sealants! This simple procedure can greatly reduce the chance that your child will get cavities in their back teeth. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Isn’t Brushing and Flossing Enough To Prevent Cavities?
Don’t get us wrong – brushing and flossing are still the foundation of good oral health, for both children and adults. But unfortunately, it takes more to protect the teeth from decay. Why? It all comes down to the anatomy of the back teeth, also called the molars.
Molars have a lot of pits and grooves on the chewing surface because they’re designed for breaking down tough foods. Toothbrush bristles are simply too large to reach down into these tiny grooves to remove plaque and cavity-causing bacteria.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, white coating that is placed over the pits and grooves of the back teeth. The material used is similar to what’s used in white composite fillings.
Sealants got their name because they seal over the rough areas of the molars, protecting them from microscopic bacteria that cause cavities. Sealants also make the chewing surfaces smoother and easier to keep clean.
How Are Sealants Applied?
The procedure is fairly quick and easy and is done on one tooth at a time. Here are the basic steps:
- First, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and dried.
- A solution is applied for 15 seconds to “prep” the tooth for the sealant.
- The solution is rinsed off and the tooth is dried again before a thin coating of sealant material is placed on the chewing surface.
- A special curing light is applied for another 15-20 seconds to harden the sealant and adhere it to the tooth.
- When each of the sealants is finished, your dentist will make sure the bite feels normal and will make minor adjustments as necessary.
In addition to good hygiene habits and regular checkups with a pediatric dentist in 75062, dental sealants can significantly reduce your child’s chance of getting cavities.
After all, when it comes to oral health, a little prevention goes a long way!
About the Author
All of the dentists at Daily Smiles Dental are dedicated to providing their community with outstanding dental care for the whole family. Their goal is to help patients prevent dental problems instead of having them treated. If you have any questions, they can be reached via their website or at (972) 546-4114.
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