As a parent, you want only the best for your child’s oral health. But in reality, children are especially at risk for tooth decay. Inexperience may lead to them not taking oral hygiene seriously or limit their ability to brush and floss effectively.
For example, notice the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces are filled with “pits and fissures”, tiny grooves or crevices that are perfect for trapping decay causing bacteria, and which are challenging to keep clean.
Because of this, many children benefit from dental sealants.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are placed over the chewing surfaces of the teeth, increasing their resistance to decay. By smoothing out those pits and fissures, sealants keep food and plaque from getting trapped, and make cleaning the teeth much easier.
Do sealants work? Yes! Studies show that using sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay in children by up to 70%.
If you and your child’s dentist decide on sealants, the process begins with an examination. The dentist will look for and remove any existing amount of decay. Next, the dentist will clean the tooth and dry it. He or she will apply a solution to slightly roughen (or “etch”) the surface of the tooth, which helps the sealing material adhere more effectively.
After another round of rinsing and drying, the dentist “paints” on the sealant material in liquid form. The dentist may use a special light to help the material cure; it then dries and hardens in about 60 seconds.
Your child should treat sealed teeth the same as normal teeth, and follow a daily routine of brushing and flossing. Your child’s dentist will check for sealant wear and tear during your child’s regular dental exams; however, dental sealants typically last for up to 10 years.
If you’re interested in the possibility of obtaining sealants for your child, make an appointment at the Yuba City Dentistry Group today, and we’d be happy to discuss your options.