If you have young children then your pediatric dentist nj might have talked to you about dental sealants and how valuable they can be for protecting the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Dental sealants are essentially a layer of very thin but strong plastic material that can be painted onto the chewing surfaces that are used to grind up food.
The sealant works by filling in all the deep grooves and fissures on the chewing surfaces as these can often trap plaque and pieces of food. Thoroughly cleaning these tooth surfaces with a toothbrush can sometimes be difficult which is why these areas often develop cavities. Sealing these surfaces protects them by forming a strong barrier against plaque and food while not interfering with the way the teeth bite together. The end result is a smooth surface that is very easy to keep clean.
Who Can Have Dental Sealants
You’ll find pediatric dentists generally recommend this treatment for children and teenagers, and the sealants are best applied soon after the permanent or adult teeth first erupt. By doing this, these teeth can be protected during childhood and during the teenage years when these teeth are most vulnerable towards developing cavities. If a child has particularly deep grooves in their baby teeth then your pediatric dentist may suggest using dental sealants, as even though these teeth only last a few years, it’s important that they aren’t lost too early to decay or infection. When a child’s baby teeth are lost too soon then it can lead to problems over spacing for permanent teeth and increases the likelihood of them requiring orthodontic treatment in the future.
Process for Applying Dental Sealants
The process to apply sealants is very quick and noninvasive, and is easy for young children to tolerate. The sealant has to be applied to teeth that are thoroughly clean and fully dried and each tooth surface is lightly etched with an acidic solution. This provides a slightly rougher surface which makes it easier for the sealant to stick to the tooth. The sealant is simply painted on and can either be cured with a special light or will be left to harden naturally, a process that only takes a few minutes. Afterwards your child will be able to eat and drink normally and they shouldn’t really notice any difference other than the fact that their teeth are now protected.
How Long Will They Lost?
Dental sealants can last for many years but their condition will be checked every so often by your child’s pediatric dentists for any signs of wear or tear. If necessary the dental sealants can be replaced and this is a very quick and inexpensive way to protect a child’s teeth against tooth decay.
My Child Already Has Cavities…
Unfortunately dental sealants can only be applied to healthy teeth that don’t have any signs of cavities and which don’t have any fillings. It’s sometimes possible for dental sealants to be used on the very earliest signs of decay as doing so seals in the bacteria so they cannot cause any more distraction. However it’s quite rare for this to be possible and it’s much better to have sealants applied as soon as your pediatric dentist suggests.