What Are Dental Sealants?
Children are particularly susceptible to dental cavities in their molars if they have a diet high in cavity-causing bacteria (think sugary snacks) and also because molars are the most difficult to brush. This bacteria can produce acids that create cavities in your child’s teeth.
Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to stop cavities from forming on a child’s back teeth. Once the sealant is applied it will help keep bits of food out of the teeth and stop bacteria from settling on their teeth. According to the CDC, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
Both children and adults can get sealants on their permanent teeth, however, the earlier you get them, the more effective they are. Sealing the molars as soon as they come out at around 6 years old for the first molars and 12 years old for the second molars ensures these teeth are cavity-free from the start. In some cases, sealants can be placed on teeth with early decay.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day is crucial to having great oral health and reducing the likelihood of developing cavities, however, according to the ADA, dental sealants can reduce the risk of decay in molars by nearly 80%.
What to Expect When Getting Dental Sealants
It’s a quick and painless process — Dr. Fitz will:
1) Clean and dry the tooth
2) Place an acidic gel on on the tooth (the gel makes the tooth surface more rough so that it can create a strong bond with the sealant)
3) After a few seconds, the gel will be rinsed
4) The tooth will be dried again
5) The sealant will be applied onto the tooth’s grooves
6) A blue light will be used to harden the sealant
The straightforward procedure shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for each tooth. Sealants should last for several years before they need to be reapplied.
Dr. Fitz believes in taking preventative measures to ensure great long-term oral health and dental sealants are one of the most simple and effective procedures to reduce the need for bigger procedures in the future.
Solstice Smiles Dental offers comprehensive dentistry in Petworth and we accept patients of all ages. If you’d like to discuss your child’s oral health, please call our dental practice or make an appointment.