Though regular brushing is the foundation of a healthy smile, some teeth are harder to clean than others. Molars are full of natural pits and crevices which can easily trap food and which are difficult to clean completely. While the mouth has its own defenses against decay, these are much more effective on the smooth surfaces of the teeth, and can't adequately protect the deep fissures of the molars. Children who are still learning proper dental hygiene may have an especially hard time keeping their molars clean, resulting in a perfect environment for bacteria and the beginning of tooth decay. Roughly 80% of cavities in children under 15 develop on the biting surfaces of back molars. To keep this problem area safe and your child's mouth healthy, we recommend dental sealants.
How they work
Dental sealants provide super-powered protection to your child's adult or baby molars. The sealant is painted in a thin layer onto your child's tooth, where it fills in crevices and creates a shallower, smoother surface that is easy to clean. Because the sealant is bonded to the tooth surface, it seals out food that could otherwise become trapped, and prevents bacteria from reaching and damaging the enamel. A properly applied sealant can last five years or more — sometimes into adulthood.
Dental sealants cannot prevent all cavities. While they offer very effective defenses for the chewing surface, they can't be applied between the teeth or on other tooth surfaces. Your child's teeth will still need regular brushing and care. The sealant itself must be properly cared for, or it can be cracked by chewing hard substances like ice, or loosened by sticky foods. The sealants should be checked at every regular dental checkup to ensure that they're still present and undamaged. As long as they remain attached, and teeth are properly cared for, dental sealants provide the best possible protection to your child's molars.
Molars have grooves and fissures that make them vulnerable to decay. Dental sealants provide the best possible defense against cavities.Request an Appointment
When to get sealants
Dental sealants are generally used in situations when teeth are in danger of decay, or when early signs of decay are detected. Most children should receive dental sealants as soon as their adult molars have fully erupted; some may also need them on baby teeth. The shape of your child's tooth surface, their diet, and their normal dental habits are all factors as well. Smile Time Kids can determine what will suit your child's needs and ensure their smile stays healthy and bright. Call our office to schedule your child's next checkup, or request an appointment online.