Children’s permanent teeth are meant to last for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, too many children get cavities early on in their molars and premolars. This can be prevented when the pediatric dentist adds a layer of protection by applying dental sealants on those teeth. Sealants help keep teeth healthy and disease-free.
Prevention Using Dental Sealants
Fluoride treatments strengthen the teeth and help fight against decay. Many pediatric dentists recommend toothpaste containing fluoride for this reason. Fluoride treatments also help protect the teeth. Dental sealants literally add another layer of protection.
You will notice that the shape of the teeth serves a specific purpose. Incisors are for biting and tearing food. The back teeth, or molars and premolars, have a broad top surface which is designed to pulverize food. To help with this process, the molars have grooves and fissures to grind.
When the molars and premolars first erupt, around ages 6 to 12, they usually have deep grooves and fissures. Cleaning out these areas can be challenging even for children who brush regularly and have good technique. Sometimes the grooves in these teeth can be so narrow and deep that even one bristle of a toothbrush cannot fit. Such areas are perfect for harmful bacteria to accumulate and produce the acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Children who eat a fair amount of sugary treats and drink sweet beverages are highly susceptible to dental decay in these teeth.
How Pediatric Dentists Apply Sealants
Dental sealants are a runny version of the composite material used to fill cavities. Transparent and strong, this material flows into the deepest part of the grooves and fissures of the chewing surface of molars and premolars, creating a smoother surface. The sealant dries hard and creates a surface easier to keep clean and a barrier between the teeth and bacteria. Sealants can be transparent, or tooth colored, so they are unnoticeable.
Dental sealants are usually applied to permanent molars and premolars when they first erupt to prevent decay. While it is most common to apply them to the chewing surface of the teeth, your dentist may also apply them to other parts of a tooth that has deep grooves. Sometimes sealants are used on primary teeth if the dentist or hygienist feels it would be beneficial.
Our top priority is to provide exceptional dental care to our patients at Restore Dental. Sealants help your child’s teeth remain free from disease for years. Schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist today to help prevent tooth decay from attacking your child’s teeth.