The Advantages of Sealants
posted: Dec. 20, 2018.
How can you avoid cavities? Of course, a low-sugar diet reduces the presence of bacteria-filled plaque, which can destroy tooth enamel. Daily flossing and brushing are critical, too, as is attending six-month check-ups at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry's Anderson, SC, office. For children, Anderson Pediatric's Dr. Nietzer and Dr. Monn also recommend sealants—easily applied tooth-colored coatings which protect deeply fissured molars. Learn more about sealants and how they can keep your child cavity-free!
What are sealants?
Sealants are ultra-thin coatings "painted" on children's back teeth to protect from decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) touts sealants as a safe and effective barrier against the corrosive acids secreted by oral bacteria.
Why are sealants applied to the back teeth? Well, it's because molars are not smooth and flat as the front teeth, making them harder to clean. This difficulty stems from how the surfaces are grooved, with some of the enamel variations being so tiny, you cannot see them.
Due to this, molars are highly prone to decay and benefit from the extra barrier sealants provide. In fact, the ADA states that sealants decrease tooth decay in young molars by about 80 percent.
What treatment is like at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry
First, a hygienist will clean your child's teeth. Next, the selected teeth are dried and prepped with a mild etching solution. Then, the sealant is applied; this material is liquid, and the dentist ensures that it penetrates the fine fissures and pits completely. Finally, with a special blue light, the sealant is "cured," or hardened.
The results are totally unnoticeable to the eye, however, the sealants go on to protect young teeth for years. Even adults with healthy molars may benefit from sealant applications!
Sealants are nothing new
They've been around for decades, but unfortunately, many families skip this important preventive dental service. This is a shame, for sealants, along with fluoride treatments, provide children with inexpensive and easy insurance against more expensive and complicated procedures such as fillings, or worse yet, extractions.
Find out more
At your child's next exam and cleaning appointment, ask Dr. Nietzer or Dr. Monn about sealants. We'll be happy to explain the process and its advantages. If it's time for a routine visit to Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, call us today for an appointment: (864) 760-1440.