Would you like to provide maximum protection for your child’s teeth against cavities? If so, Dr. Jorge Torres and Dr. Lyda Lopez of Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon recommend placing dental sealants over some of his or her teeth. Sealants prevent bacteria and food debris from entering the pit and fissures of the teeth. Sealants, in conjunction with fluoride treatments, can provide maximum protection against tooth decay.
What Are Sealants?
While fluoride has greatly reduced the number of cavities, it does little to protect the grooves of the teeth. Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the surface of teeth to add extra protection in the grooves, or fissures, of teeth where decay is most apt to occur.
When Are Sealants Applied?
Because molar teeth are deeply grooved, keeping them properly clean can be difficult. Sealants help to protect these indentations, dramatically reducing the amount of bacteria and food debris on the teeth. Dr. Torres and Dr. Lopez typically recommend applying a sealant to 6- and 12-year-old molars, since these are grooved and particularly susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. They may also recommend sealing your child’s permanent premolars (bicuspids). Any tooth with grooves can benefit from sealants. Note: It is important for children to have fluoride treatments even when they have dental sealants, because sealants only protect the surface they are on.
How Are Sealants Applied?
The tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned and dried. The sealant material is then painted onto the grooves of the tooth and hardened with a special light. The entire process, even with multiple teeth, is quick and easy!
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Although sealants are thin, they are designed to last for years. Maintaining a healthy diet and brushing and flossing should continue as usual. We recommend avoiding sticky or hard food and candy (for example, ice, Jolly Ranchers, and caramels) since these crack or dislodge sealants.
Safeguard Your Child’s Smile with Sealants
If you are interested in reducing the risk of caries, sealants are highly effective. To find out more about this treatment and schedule a consultation with Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon, call our Brandon, FL dental office today — (813) 324-2604.