Thorough brushing and flossing are two of the most important things one can do to help remove food particles and plaque from their mouth and teeth. However, toothbrushes and even dental flosses can’t reach all the way into the deepest groove and depressions of the teeth. And, even with the use of fluoride to fight off decay, the grooves and pitted areas still remain prone to plaque and bacteria buildup.
This is where dental sealants come in, as they add an extra layer of protection for the teeth found in the far back of our mouths.
What is a Dental Sealant?
By definition, a dental sealants are plastic materials placed on the molars and premolars for the purpose of sealing out bacteria and acids that may result to cavities and tooth decay.
When used in conjunction with a strict oral care routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, a healthy diet and regular checkups, as well as professional cleanings, dental sealants help provide total dental protection.
What To Expect During The Procedure
Placing dental sealants is usually a painless procedure and doesn’t require the use of anesthesia or other numbing medications, as well as drilling. This means that the procedure should go relatively easy for children, even when their parents are not with them. However, if your child feels uneasy or uncomfortable, it may be a better for you to stay with them in the dentist’s office throughout the whole procedure.
Experts recommend that the primary biting teeth, the 6- and 12-year-old molars be the ones to be sealed. While every tooth is susceptible to cavities, the molars are especially so because, as mentioned earlier, the molars are simply much harder to reach by brushing or flossing.
The application of dental sealant typically involves the following steps:
- Tooth preparation – The surface of the tooth is polished and cleaned to remove plaque, as well as food debris. Then, the tooth is isolated, dried and the surface etched, rinsed off and then dried once again.
- Application of the sealant – The dental sealant material is then applied to the surface of the tooth using a brush. A self-curing light is then used to make sure that the sealant is properly bonded to the tooth surface.
- Evaluation – The dental sealant is then checked and evaluated. It’s then left to harden and once it becomes a hard plastic coating, the tooth can be used for chewing again.
After the procedure, the sealants can be left alone and your child can go on normally like nothing happened. What’s better is that your child and especially you can rest easy knowing that you’ve helped make sure that your child won’t have to worry much about cavities and dental decay anymore.
Still, even though dental sealants can very effective in preventing cavities, they do not protect against periodontal disease such as gingivitis, oral cancer and other common dental conditions. Because of this, it is still recommended to follow a healthy oral routine including daily brushing, flossing, rinsing and regular trips to the dentist for checkup and professional cleaning for good overall oral health.
If you would like more information regarding dental sealants, contact Creative Dimensions at 510-881-8010. Or visit our website at www.ccdentists.com.