Dental Sealants to Preserve Your Smile
The back teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and thus cavities. The chewing surfaces of these teeth – especially in children – are very vulnerable to sugar. They are filled with ridges and valleys, making for ideal places for sugar, food particles and bacteria to thrive. Actually, the technical name is “pits and fissures.” Your toothbrush can’t always get at the food particles tucked away there, which is when tooth decay can start.
Newly erupted permanent teeth in kids are actually more vulnerable to decay over an adult’s because the enamel coating isn’t as strong as it will one day be. You can strengthen the enamel through fluoride treatments but sometimes this just isn’t enough. Dental sealants are a great solution to fill in the gaps. These are invisible plastic resin coatings that fill in those pits and fissures, making it harder for sugar to invade. Teeth that are sealed are more likely to create a cavity. This leads to costly treatment later on, not to mention the discomfort and stress it will cause your child. It’s better to stop cavities before they start.
Most Insurance Accepted Including:
How to Care for Your Sealants
After application, encourage your child to continue brushing and flossing as usual every single day. Don’t forget to schedule those six-month dental appointments too. Sealants are strong and can last up to a decade.
How are Sealants Applied?
Sealants are like miniature plastic fillings but they’re not, of course, a cavity filling. Make sure your child knows they didn’t do anything wrong and that this treatment is done as a preventive measure only. It doesn’t hurt, either, as tooth enamel does not contain nerves. Thus, no numbing agents are used.
The dentist will first examine the tooth to remove any decay that is present. Sometimes there is just a small amount. It’s important to get this out before placing the sealant on. After cleaning and drying the tooth, the dentist will add a solution that will roughen the surface so as to ensure better adherence of the sealant. After being rinsed and dried again, the sealant (a liquid) is painted on the tooth. It takes just about a minute for the sealant to harden, thanks to a special light aimed right at the tooth.
Some people have concerns about BPA. We are happy to discuss those concerns when you come in for a visit. In 2012, a study revealed that trace amounts of the chemical bisphenol-A (also known as BPA) could be detected in some dental materials that might contribute to behavioral problems in children. While there was a loose link, there was no actual proof that BPA in dental sealants were the root of these issues. In fact, if you do your research you’ll see that BPA is more commonly found in food packages and water bottles than in dental resins. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association both still support the use of sealants in kids.
Did you know that dental sealants have been found to reduce decay by about 70 percent? Call Redwood Dental to learn more about this preventive dentistry treatment at (800) 462-2222.