Importance of Dental Sealants
FOR STARTERS, WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?
- A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that our Star City dentists put on the grooves of your child’s back teeth, to protect them from plaque and bacteria attacks. Once a sealant is intact, the sealed surface will be protected from decay. Essentially, a sealed tooth protects your child’s teeth for years to come and in return will save a trip to our local Lincoln dentists by avoiding fillings and other related treatment.
- Sealants prevent the most cavities when applied shortly after permanent molars erupt. Typically, children tend to get their first adult molar around the age of six. These molars are different, as they can grow undetected and are unnoticed.
Wait, how can molars come in unnoticed?
– Well, that’s because the first adult molars usually come in the back, behind the baby teeth in your child’s mouth; therefore, not replacing any baby tooth.
WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED DENTAL SEALANTS?
- Cavities are likely to occur on the most active chewing surfaces, and for kids, it’s back molars. Our molars aren’t smooth like the rest of our teeth, therefore; they hold onto all of our leftovers. These rigid teeth can trap all kinds of unwanted bacteria and food particles without us realizing. It’s hard for your young child to reach those back molars when brushing their teeth, so just like that, the grooves & ridges become a prime spot for sugar bugs to form.
- A child’s freshly grown adult tooth isn’t as strong as a well weathered adult tooth. Enamel on teeth strengthens with age, so it’s important to protect these young teeth while they are new. Our professionals at Star City Dental recommend utilizing fluoride as a treatment when strengthening teeth, but only if it can reach. It’s not always easy to get fluoride into every nook and cranny of your child’s teeth, which makes the treatment less effective.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.
Dental sealants are an effective, painless treatment to help children protect their teeth for years to come. At Star City Dental, our mission is to save our patients pain, time, and money. Investing in preventative treatments such as sealants will protect your child from cavities, while saving you money by eliminating other expensive treatments such as dental fillings or dental crowns. Regular dental checkups to a local dentist in Lincoln, NE are also very important in maintaining your child’s oral health.
HOW SEALANTS ARE PLACED?
The placing of a sealant is a simple and painless procedure, done in minutes.
The first thing to be done when sealing a tooth is to examine the level of decay of the tooth. This decay will be removed and is an important part of the sealant process, as it creates a healthy foundation for the filling to be placed. The tooth will then be cleaned and dried. After that, a solution will be applied that will slightly roughen the surface of the tooth to make the sealing material stick better. The tooth is then rinsed and dried again. The sealant is then painted on the tooth in liquid form and hardens in about a minute, sometimes with the help of a special curing light.
BEFORE DENTAL SEALANT APPLIED
TOOTH SURFACE AFTER APPLICATION
TAKING CARE OF SEALANTS
A sealed tooth and a non-sealed tooth should be treated equally. It is suggested that your child should brush and floss their teeth daily in conjunction with having regular professional cleanings from our caring teams. Maintaining routine check ups for wear and tear on the sealants is important, but they should last for several years before needing to be replaced. It is recommended to avoid chewing on ice or hard foods as it can break down the protective layer that sealants provide. During these regular oral hygiene visits, our teams will re-apply sealant material if needed. While cavities in children aren’t always avoidable, it is important to utilize something that helps prevent them from happening quite as often. Ask our dental team at Star City Dental about dental sealants for your child today!