Incorporating healthy dental hygiene practices like daily brushing and flossing of teeth in your child is among the best ways of preventing tooth decay and cavities. However, for maximum protection against decay, dentists will recommend dental sealants.
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted on a tooth’s chewing surface to fight tooth decay. Dental experts use tooth sealants to reduce dental decay on a tooth’s chewing surface. Sealants seal and protect teeth surfaces. They are placed over pitted and grooved areas that are found in molars and premolars. These grooves are normally hard to clean because they are narrower than toothbrush bristles. Without frequent, thorough cleaning, plaque will form on your teeth surface and, with time, form a small hole – a cavity.
A cavity left untreated will progress, eroding the enamel and spreading deep into the dentin layer and the pulp cavity. The pulp cavity is rich in blood capillaries and nerves that bring pain sensation. An exposed pulp cavity exposes the nerves resulting in tooth pain and sensitivity, characterized by a sharp tooth pain sensation when taking hot and cold drinks. The purpose of getting dental sealants is to add a protective coating over the hard-to-brush surfaces. Sealants create a smooth teeth surface, keeping food out and, in the long run, keeping your kid’s teeth free of cavities.
You can get dental sealants near you at Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram.
The American Dental Association recommends getting sealants at the age of 6 to 14. They reason that since the first molars come out at the age of around six and the secondary molars at around 12 years, it is best to seal them as soon as they break through. In addition, your dental practitioner may recommend sealants on baby teeth if they have deep grooves and pitted areas.
Adults who are at risk of dental cavities can also get dental sealants in Bayside. The application procedure at our Bayside dentistry will be a quick and pain-free process that will first involve your dentist cleaning and drying your teeth. An acidic gel is then applied to roughen the chewing surface, which improves sealant adherence. Next, the gel is rinsed off, and your teeth are cleaned and dried once more. Next, a liquid sealant is applied and hardened by blue light, and you are done.
The longevity of a dental sealant is a factor that should be considered before having them placed. Dental sealants can remain on your teeth safely for as long as nine years. This does not, however, mean that they are completely effective for the entire lifespan. As a result, dental practitioners recommend having sealants applied after 2 to 4 years.
For sealants to last long and be effective, they need good care. Here are some caring tips:
Biting hard foods or candies and wrongful use of teeth, i.e., biting nails and opening beer bottles, will damage your sealants. Damage sealants make your teeth vulnerable to dental decay unless the sealant material is re-applied by a dentist.
Although dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of teeth, it does not prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar in the spaces between your teeth. Thus, even if you have sealants, brushing your teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste and a brush with fine gentle bristles is important. You will also be required to floss your gumline and teeth to eliminate food particles and bacterial plaque. This is because the accumulation of tartar along your gumline can lead to gum disease. As a parent, you must ensure your kid sticks to these practices.
It would be best if you also encouraged your child to avoid behaviors that can damage the sealants, like chewing on candies and ice and opening packages with their teeth.
Sealants become more vulnerable to tears and cracks over time because strong chewing forces weaken them. Due to this reason, you should take your kid to the dentist regularly for the sealants to be checked to ascertain they are intact and functional. Excessively worn or damaged sealants can trap decay-causing bacteria under them. This will ultimately cause dental cavities compromising the child’s teeth.