How are children’s teeth similar to an adult’s teeth? The back teeth perform most of the chewing!
This also means those teeth come into contact with foods that can lead to decay. Dental sealants protect these teeth and form a barrier over the tooth so that decay and cavities are less likely to occur.
What is a Dental Sealant?
Dental sealants are intended to help prevent cavities from forming by creating a strong, physical barrier between your child’s teeth and the oral bacteria that causes tooth decay. Tooth demineralization is caused by acid from bacteria eating away at the enamel. By creating a protective barrier, sealants interrupt this process and prevent cavities.
Sealants are made out of a special type of clear, plastic dental resin. This resin is applied to the teeth in a liquid form, then hardened using UV light. This creates a strong barrier that prevents acid from contacting the teeth directly. In turn, this prevents cavity formation.
Dental sealants can be applied to both baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth. They are typically only applied to the rear teeth (molars and premolars) because these teeth have a larger surface area and deeper grooves and pits, which means that they are more likely to trap the bacteria that cause decay. When properly applied, sealants will last up to 10 years.
What are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
They can prevent cavities and tooth pain by creating a barrier between your child’s teeth and the bacteria or other harmful substances in the mouth that can eat away at a tooth’s enamel and cause decay.
Did you know that dental cavities are the most common preventable disease in children in this country? Even with regular brushing and flossing, cavities can still develop. But dental sealants provide an extra layer of protection between the bacteria and sugary drinks and sweets that can cause the decay of your child’s teeth.
What happens during dental sealant treatment?
Dr. Betty always explains every procedure before she carries it out, so you and your child know what to expect. Applying dental sealants is a fairly simple, pain-free procedure that can work for both baby and adult teeth and can provide protection against cavities for up to ten years.
An acidic solution will be applied to the tooth’s surface to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. Following rinsing and drying, the sealant is painted onto the tooth’s enamel where it hardens to form a protective layer.