Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
Dental sealants are a preventative measure that we offer to help protect the biting surfaces of your child’s permanent molars. Did you know that a child gets their first set of permanent molars around age six? That’s a long time for them to have teeth that we hope they’ll have forever! Dental sealants are instrumental in preventing cavities in those hard-to-reach places.
Pediatric sealants are clear or shaded resin applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, or the hard-to-clean back surfaces of your front teeth. Sealants keep food particles from getting caught, which could cause cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, research shows that sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years if they are properly cleaned and checked up at regular preventative care appointments.
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. They are made of a tooth colored resin and are placed on a decay-free tooth to prevent a cavity from forming.
The grooves in permanent molars are narrow and deep. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants flow into these grooves sealing them off from the elements, which helps decrease the risk of decay in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects (ice, pencils, pens) sealants will last longer. Dr. Meggan will check the sealants during routine preventative care visits and reapply or repair when necessary.
The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned and dried. The sealant flows into the grooves of the tooth and is hardened with a blue light. Your child will be able to eat immediately after the appointment.
He needs to brush and floss to keep the plaque from all surfaces. He can still get a cavity between the teeth from not flossing where a sealant doesn’t cover. The same plaque that causes cavities can get around a sealant if left there for long periods of time. That’s why good brushing and regular dental visits are so important to be sure the sealants do their job.