Just like adults, kids need to brush and floss their teeth regularly to prevent serious oral health issues, including cavities in their teeth. However, kids often have a harder time thoroughly brushing their teeth. It can also be a struggle to get many kids to brush. This leaves them more susceptible to the development of cavities. One of the areas most vulnerable to cavities is the chewing surfaces of the molars. These areas have deep crevices that can trap food particles and bacteria. At Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry, we can help to protect the teeth of your child with sealants.
How Does My Child Get Cavities?
Cavities are a common issue for kids. They often struggle to thoroughly brush their teeth properly. They may rush through the motions to get back to something more fun. Alternatively, it may just be a struggle to get your kid to brush at all. Improper brushing can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria on the surfaces of their teeth. Both plaque and bacteria produce acids that erode the enamel of the teeth, causing decay. This decay eventually leads to the formation of small pits or cavities. When cavities are not treated, they continue to grow, compromising the structural integrity of the affected tooth and putting it at risk for an infection. Preventing cavities is essential for avoiding these, and more, issues.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants are a synthetic application that we place on the chewing surfaces of the molars. They are designed to cover the crevices there, effectively blocking out and preventing the buildup of food particles and oral bacteria. In addition to this major benefit, sealants also make it easier for your child to take care of their teeth, helping them in the fight against cavity formation.
A Quick, Simple Process for Protecting Teeth
We understand that kids often find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. Being in the dental chair for a procedure can also be a scary experience. Fortunately, sealants are a quick procedure that can usually be completed in less than 30 minutes. Getting sealants is also completely painless. There is no need to give your child a local anesthetic. Before we place the sealants, the teeth are cleaned first. It is important to know that if there is a cavity already existing in the molar, it first needs to be treated before sealants can be applied. Once the teeth are cleaned, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of the molars. This is done to create a rough texture, enhancing the bond between the sealant material and the teeth. The teeth are washed clean and dried. Next, the sealant material is applied to the molars, and a special light is used to cure quickly, or dry, it. Once dry, sealants begin providing your child with immediate protection.
How Long Will Their Sealants Last?
While sealants are made up of plastic, they are still fairly resilient. With proper care, they can provide your child with years of additional protection. However, sealants are not a substitution for proper oral hygiene. They can only protect the areas that they are applied to. Cavities can still form on other areas of the teeth, including along the areas near the sealants. Sealants are designed to work in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, helping your child to more effectively protect their teeth.
If you are interested in learning more about sealants, and finding out if they are the right solution for your child, call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today at Tulsa: (539) 302-3266 Claremore: (918) 343-4300.