- February 8, 2022
Tooth sealants are a proactive way to protect your child’s teeth from developing cavities. How do they work?
As a part of kids’ dental care, may recommend applying a layer of sealant to the surface of the tooth to cover any grooves or crevices. The tooth sealant protects the enamel from exposure to plaque which can attack the enamel and create a cavity.
Application of tooth sealants are most often to molars in the back of the mouth that handle most of the chewing. Food particles that sit on molars and premolars can build up in grooves – also called fissures – and convert to bacteria and plaque.
It’s unlikely that your child can brush after every meal or snack. Dental sealants prevent food from getting into fissures, protecting enamel from the acids in food.
Application of Tooth Sealants
The process of applying a dental sealant is painless. First, your child receives a cleaning from a hygienist to ensure all teeth are free from bacteria. Then the teeth are dried completely.
The next step is to roughen the surface if the tooth with an acid solution to assist with bonding. The acid is removed from the tooth which is again dried. The sealant is painted on to the tooth where it bonds with the tooth enamel. A light treatment helps the sealant harden more quickly. The application is good for about 10 years.
Tooth Sealants and Primary Teeth
You may wonder if it’s a good idea to seal primary teeth that are going to fall out anyways as permanent teeth take their place. Baby teeth play an important role as your child develops. In addition to helping your child eat and speak, they hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth.
If a baby tooth is lost too early due to decay, the permanent teeth growing under the gums can wander into the hole left behind. In turn, this can cause misalignment of other permanent teeth. Dental sealants help protect baby teeth from decay and prevent them from crowding or becoming permanently crooked.
As permanent teethe erupt, sealing them is a good idea as a preventative measure. Adults can also benefit from sealants to protect teeth with growing fissures.
Your dentist will assess whether your child would benefit from tooth sealants. If you’re looking for a dental checkup near Minooka, make an appointment now at Shorewood Family Dental care. You can do it online or by calling 815-725-5991.