Dental Sealants 101
Li’l Sunshine Smiles takes every step we can to protect your child’s teeth from decay big and small. One way that we do this is with dental sealants. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of your tooth. It shields the enamel from further decay by “sealing out” food, plaque, and bacteria.
Because dental sealants are designed to seal out decay, they prevent the need for dental fillings. Also, they don’t require any drilling to the enamel or dentin in order to be applied. Because they are invisible, they can make a big difference in preventing cavities, but without any other visual signs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Development, ” Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. Children aged 6 to 11 years without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.”
Why We Use Dental Sealants
Most importantly, dental sealants act as a barrier to seal out avities. Careful brushing and flossing work to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But, toothbrush bristles just cannot reach certain areas. As a result, deep depressions and grooves in teeth trap food particles and allow plaque to collect.
Likewise, when you eat, the bacteria in plaque use the sugars in your food to produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. More and more sugars against the enamel will break it down, eventually resulting in a cavity (or hole) in the tooth surface.
Prevent Cavities with Dental Sealants
Because of the natural shape of growing teeth, children are prone to cavities. When first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. Dental sealants prevent pit and fissure cavities in children.
Although sealants are commonly recommended for children and teenagers, they are also a good preventative treatment for adult patients with no tooth decay or fillings in their back teeth. Prevention is the best approach to keeping your oral health in optimum shape.
Call 813-576-0200 for a consultation!