Did you know that 90% of cavities occur in teeth with irregular surfaces? (Information from the CDC). Fortunately, dental sealants were developed to help protect some of these teeth. A dental sealant is a barrier, which defends a tooth’s chewing surface from food debris and bacteria accumulation on that surface. It is an effective defense against tooth decay. What you need to know, even though you may have dental sealants applied to the teeth, is that you will still be required to do regular flossing and brushing. Sticky foods and candies should be avoided after sealants are placed and chewing on ice cubes should also be avoided as these can break out sealants, significantly decreasing the effectiveness of the sealants. Eating balanced nutritious meals and getting enough fluoride is also very important in cavity prevention. Sealants are just an extra shield to protect small grooves and fissures. Sealants are routinely applied to permanent molars, but they can also be applied to susceptible primary (baby) teeth or other permanent teeth that have deep grooves or pits.
Best Time to Get the Procedure
The procedure should be done as soon as the permanent tooth erupts adequately for sealant application. Our doctors will let you know when your child is ready to have his or her teeth sealed.
Dental Sealants Procedure
Our doctors place the dental sealants. Before the procedure, the teeth will be thoroughly examined and cleaned. In our office, teeth are air abraded (like a mini sand blaster) to help thoroughly clean the tooth. We have found that this extra step greatly increases the retention for sealants. The tooth is further cleaned and rinsed and the sealant is applied. The sealant is painted onto the tooth and it is dried with a special light to harden the sealant. No “shots” are required. Our doctors will evaluate to make sure that your child can bite comfortably and make any necessary adjustments to the teeth.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
· Dental sealants are an inexpensive treatment that shows excellent results in prevention of tooth decay. Statistics show that dental sealants can reduce the caries process by 86%.
· Dental sealants are beneficial to your health. Decay can result in more severe problems than just a single tooth cavity. This treatment shows outstanding long-term results in protecting the health of teeth.
· Sealant application is tolerated well by most children. Patients can eat and drink immediately after sealant placement.
If you think that your child could benefit from dental sealants, regular checkup or a dental cleaning, please contact us at Orange County Pediatric Dental Group to schedule an appointment today: (714) 972-1359.