Posts for tag: dental sealants
Taking care of your child’s teeth is a high priority, not only for their health now but for the future too. And that means dealing with their teeth’s most common and formidable enemy, tooth decay.
Your focus, of course, should be on preventing decay through good oral hygiene practices, a healthy diet low in foods with added sugar and regular office visits for cleaning and checkups. But some children at higher risk or who’ve already encountered tooth decay may also need a little extra help in the form of dental sealants.
The most common use of sealants addresses a weakness in young teeth that disease-causing bacteria exploit. Deep grooves known as pits and fissures form within the biting surfaces of developing back teeth and in the rear of front teeth.Â It’s very difficult to reach these areas with daily brushing, so some plaque may be left behind (hence the importance of semi-annual office cleanings).
Inside the mouth, these pits and fissures are in a warm and moist environment and are a haven for bacteria that feed on plaque and produce high levels of acid as a by-product. The acid softens enamel to eventually create a hole, or a “cavity” in the tooth. Children’s young enamel is highly susceptible to this process — it hasn’t developed enough strength to resist the adverse effects of acid.
A “pit and fissure” sealant made of resin fills in the grooves in the teeth to inhibit the buildup of plaque — a kind of “mini” filling. It’s an added layer of protection that complements other prevention efforts. But applying them isn’t an automatic practice — we only recommend it for children at high risk, especially where decay is beginning or it appears the conditions are conducive for it. When needed, though, it can be quite effective in preventing decay or minimizing its effects.
The best way to know if your child could benefit from a sealant is to have them undergo a complete dental exam. From there we can advise you on whether a sealant application is an important investment in their current and future health.
If you would like more information on dental disease prevention for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children.”
While children are less likely than adults to experience periodontal (gum) disease, the same can't be said for tooth decay. One aggressive form of decay called early childhood caries (ECC) can have a profound effect on a child's dental development and future health.
That's why dentists who treat young children often use a variety of preventive measures to reduce the risk of ECC and other dental diseases. One popular method is dental sealants, dental material coatings applied to the biting surfaces of teeth that fill in the naturally occurring pits and crevices. These areas are highly susceptible to plaque formation, a bacterial biofilm of food particles that tends to accumulate on teeth. It's the bacteria that live in plaque that are most responsible for the formation of tooth decay.
Roughly one third of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have received some form of dental sealant. It's a quick and painless procedure applied during a routine office visit. The dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form on the teeth, and then hardens it with a special curing light. It's common for children to begin obtaining sealant protection as their molars begin to come in.
With their increased popularity among dentists, researchers have conducted a number of studies to see whether dental sealants have a measurable effect reducing tooth decay. After reviewing the cases of thousands of children over several years, many of these studies seemed to show that children who didn't receive sealants were more than twice as likely to get cavities as children who did.
As evidence continues to mount for dental sealants' effectiveness protecting young children from decay, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommend it for all children. Not only can sealants help preserve children's teeth now, but they can reduce future costs for dental treatment that results from tooth decay.
Sealants could offer your child a little protective boost against decay.
Unfortunately, more and more children are developing cavities. While cavities are common, they can be prevented. Whether your child isn’t good about brushing their teeth as thoroughly as they should or they consume quite a bit of sugar, there are many reasons why your child might end up benefiting from getting dental sealants from our Rochester, NY, pediatric dentist, Dr. Abra Caroci.
What are dental sealants?
These clear plastic coatings are painted over the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth to provide an additional layer of protection against decay. Since molars have countless ridges and pits, it can easily become a place for food and plaque to get trapped and for cavities to develop. And as we can honestly admit, sometimes kids don’t always do the best job brushing those back teeth.
Just as the name suggests, dental sealants seal out food, bacteria and plaque from these susceptible dental grooves. As a result, it’s much easier to keep those back teeth clean and cavity-free.
How are dental sealants placed?
The minute a child hears that they have to visit the dentist it can make them a little nervous. Of course, our Rochester children’s dentist is here to make sure their visit is smooth sailing. Not only is our understanding and calming team there to greet your family with a smile, but also getting dental sealants is completely painless. The next time they come in for their cleaning we can also place these sealants.
The process is completely non-invasive. All we have to do is paint the special protective coating onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth and then harden the coating to the tooth with a dental light. The process won’t take that long and it’s yet another wonderful step you can take to protect your child’s smile from cavities.
Whether you want to find out if your child could benefit from sealants or you just need to schedule their six-month cleaning, turn to pediatric dental experts that offer care with a compassionate, gentle touch. Call Twelve Corners Pediatric Dentistry in Rochester, NY today.