How Do I Know If Sealants Are Right for My Child?
Making sure your child brushes and flosses regularly is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. However, removing trapped food particles from the back teeth called the molars and premolars is not always the easiest thing to do. Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry is proud to offer quality preventive dentistry services, including dental sealants, to protect these tooth surfaces from cavity-causing bacteria. We are all about prevention to ensure our young patients maintain long-term healthy smiles.
Why Are Premolars and Molars More Prone to Developing Tooth Decay?
The chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars have crevices known as pits and fissures. These grooves often trap plaque and food particles, providing cavity-causing bacteria an abundant food source. As the bacteria feast, they produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, clear plastic coatings that we place onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s premolars or molars to form a protective shield from food debris, bacteria, plaque, and acids. By essentially “sealing” out these cavity-causing substances, your child’s teeth are less likely to develop tooth decay and cavities. Better yet, dental sealants are effective for use over areas with early decay, preventing the condition’s progression and halting any further damage.
Are Sealants Right for Your Child?
All children benefit from dental sealants, especially those who are prone to developing cavities. The best time to have your child’s dental sealants applied is around age six, when the first set of permanent molars, known as the 6-year-old-molars, start to come in. Protecting against tooth decay right from the start helps reduce the chances of developing future cavities and dental problems.
What Is the Sealant Procedure?
Applying sealants is a simple, safe, and painless procedure that can be completed in one short visit. Your child won’t need anesthesia or drilling.
We will start the procedure by cleaning your child’s teeth and drying them, and then we will prepare the chewing surfaces of the back teeth by roughening them up using an etching solution to enable the sealant to bond. Next, we will paint on the sealant, allowing it to flow into the grooves and depressions. The final step is using a special curing light to harden the material.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Sealants typically last 5 to 10 years but will need evaluation during your child’s routine dental exams for chipping or wear. If required, we will re-apply the sealant material to ensure your child’s teeth remain protected. Keep in mind that having teeth sealed doesn’t mean your child should neglect to brush and floss. Maintaining proper oral hygiene practices will help your child maintain a clean and healthy smile.
Protective Dental Sealants in Glendale, AZ
Visit Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about our preventive dental sealants and how they help keep cavities at bay. Our team believes in prevention as the first line of defense against dental disease to ensure our patients maintain long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!