By: Amberly Hildebrandt, www.myhighplains.com
Dental sealants are an important part of maintaining your child’s oral health and smile. Sealants prevent food and plaque buildup from gathering in hard-to-reach places.
Food particles, germs, and plaque have a hard time collecting on smooth surfaces, such as the front teeth, but even children who brush and floss diligently can’t always clean the deep bumps and grooves of the back molars. Sealants are recommended for baby teeth only if the patient has a high risk of decay or very deep roots. Sealants are highly recommended for permanent molars soon after complete eruption.
Dental sealants are a thin coating of white resin that covers the top of the molars to protect them from decay. Applying the sealants is easy, and it only takes a few minutes. First, the tooth is cleaned thoroughly. Then it is conditioned and dried to prepare for the sealant. The sealant material will be used to fill any deep grooves and cover the top surface of the molars.
After applying the material, your dentist will use a small light to harden the sealant. Once the process is complete, your child will be able to eat and drink right away. The entire process is completely painless, and the thin layer of sealant looks and feels just like the natural tooth.
Sealants require no special care aside from regular flossing and brushing. Sealants can crack when children bite hard objects, but your pediatric dentist can check the sealants and recommend repairs during your next routine visit. With proper oral hygiene habits (brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist once every six months), the sealants can protect your child’s teeth for many years.
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