What Are Dental Sealants?

Taking your kids to the dentist may not always be a pleasant trip for parents. Even though you have your child brush twice daily and even floss, there is still a chance that a checkup will reveal decay. Cavities are the primary dental issue in school-aged children. Proper brushing alone may not be enough to combat bacteria that cause decay and cavities.

In the fight against further decay, the dentist may suggest applying sealants to the teeth, especially molars. Since these teeth in the back are the teeth most often associated with chewing and their location may make it difficult for brushing to effectively clean consistently, they may be the best shot at festering bacteria to take up residence. Get some basic information on sealants before making the decision to have them applied.

The Composition of Sealant

A sealant is a compound that is applied to teeth to create a coating. It acts as a buffer, an extra barrier between the tooth’s surface and the outside world. The coating is clear and tasteless and made from a special blend of plastics and dental material. It is applied by the dentist or dental assistant and hardened with the use of a UV light. The entire process takes just a few minutes to complete.

The Effectiveness of Sealant

The surface of the teeth can be soft. The ridges in molars afford the perfect environment for bacteria to stick and eventually make their way into teeth causing decay. When a sealant is applied properly, it becomes the first line of defense. Unlike the tooth’s surface, sealant is non-porous and as such, makes a much tougher barrier for bacteria to sink into. Children who have sealants typically have fewer cavities.

The Lifespan of Sealant

The sealant is not a lifetime fix for tooth decay. It can wear down over time, and if proper oral health is not maintained, bacteria may eventually breach the barrier. Sealants can be reapplied, but if they wear out too quickly, the dentist may recommend more frequent trips to the office for deeper cleaning.

The Safety of Using Sealants

Parents may be concerned about the overall safety of sealants. When applied properly, sealants are safe and there is no current evidence that having them is harmful to children. If you are concerned, speak with your dentist to get the exact details on any possible side effects from having them applied.

Making sure your child is healthy is a top priority. Maintaining good oral health is one of the essential practices for ensuring their teeth are strong and healthy for many years to come. Visiting a dentistry practice, like a Family Dentist in Apex NC, when recommended can also help monitor oral hygiene practices.

Thank you to the experts at Alliance Dentistry for their input into pediatric and family dentists. 

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