Despite the best efforts of parents, cavities are still very common in children. These cavities can be a result of children not brushing or flossing effectively, or could be part of the makeup of your child’s teeth.
For instance, the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth are filled with tiny grooves that expertly capture bacteria that lead to decay. These pits and fissures are very difficult to keep clean.
It’s due to the above factors that many children profit from dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
They are slim, plastic coatings strategically placed over the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. This coating helps to protect against cavities by smoothing out pits and fissures that otherwise would gather bacteria. This smooth surface is much easier to keep clean and bacteria free. In fact, studies have shown that dental sealants can lower the risk of cavities by up to 70%.
The first step in applying dental sealants is a thorough dental exam. The dentist will carefully remove any current decay. Then he will clean and dry the tooth. Next, a solution will be applied to etch the surface of the tooth which will enable the sealing material to properly adhere to your child’s tooth.
The dentist will, again, rinse and dry the tooth after which he will apply the sealant material. A special light may be used to cure the material. It will take approximately 60 seconds for the material to fully dry and harden.
Sealants are maintained with a healthy daily routine of brushing and flossing. Each time your child comes in for a dental checkup, our Auburn family dentist will make sure the sealant is holding and wearing well. Sealants often last up to 10 years.
Do you think your child may need dental sealants? Contact us today to make an appointment for a dental exam. We are happy to review the available options that best fit your child’s needs.
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