What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Although brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
How long do sealants last?Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. Therefore, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last longer. Dr Abraham will check the sealants during routing dental visits and recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.
Which teeth should be sealed?
The natural flow of saliva usually keeps the smooth surfaces of teeth clean but does not wash out the grooves and fissures. So the teeth most at risk of decay and therefore, most in need of sealants are the six year and twelve year molars. Many times the premolars and primary molars will also benefit from sealant coverage. Any tooth, however, with grooves or pits may benefit from the protection of sealants.
Who is a good candidate for sealants?
We can examine your child’s teeth to determine if and when they might need sealants. We often recommend them to children who don’t have the best eating and brushing habits or who already have quite a lot of fillings on their back teeth. Sealants are only applied to the back teeth, so having them placed is not an excuse to not brush and floss your teeth. It is important that your child brushes and flosses their teeth daily even with sealants in place.
What happens when sealants are placed?
The application of sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. We will start by thoroughly cleaning the tooth where the sealant will be placed. Next, a solution is applied to the tooth which will help the sealant adhere properly to the surface of the tooth. The solution will be rinsed off and the tooth will be dried. The sealant will be painted on the grooves of tooth, and then will be hardened with a special light. Your will be able to leave the office with the comfort of knowing that your child’s teeth will be better protected from decay.
If you are interested in having sealants done for your child, give us a call and we can help schedule an appointment.