Most parents know the importance of teaching their children to have a good oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing and flossing is still the best way to prevent cavities. That being said, even as adults, it’s not always easy to clean every surface of our teeth thoroughly, especially the back teeth, known as our molars. In fact, because we use our molars to chew, it’s easy for leftover food to become lodged in any tiny gaps within the teeth. If not removed, it can lead to cavities. This being the case, the ADA recommend that children should receive dental sealants (also known as fissure sealant treatment) once their adult teeth have erupted. So what exactly are they and why should your child have them?
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are made of plastic material that is either white or clear in colour. They are placed on the chewing surface of the teeth to cover the pits or fissures (these are the grooves of the teeth that are more vulnerable to decay.) The dental sealant acts as a barrier, sealing the teeth from any harmful bacterial. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, they do help to prevent cavities forming in children and have been shown to help reduce the risk of decay in molars by nearly 80%.
While it’s true that both adults and children can benefit from fissure sealant treatment, the earlier they are placed, the better. With your child’s first permanent molars making an appearance around the age of 6, it’s best to seal these teeth as soon as they come through, if you want to give your child the best chance of remaining cavity free
Placing sealants is a very quick and painless procedure for your child. During dental sealant treatment, Chesterfield dentist Dr Akinwande, will first clean and dry the tooth. Then the sealant liquid is applied onto the tooth surface and allowed to harden. The smooth, sealed tooth surface should now be much easier to clean during your child’s normal brushing routine. The treatment takes as little as 15 minutes to complete and what’s great is that sealants are very durable and can often last up to 10 years. At every visit to our dental office, we’ll inspect your child’s sealants and check they are still working hard to protect their teeth and replace them if necessary. In addition, we also advise that you help your children to eat a balanced diet and limit the frequency of sugary snacks.
As you can see, fissure sealant treatment is a really effective way to help your child combat cavities. If you’d like to find out more about dental sealants or would like to make an appointment for your child to undergo dental sealant treatment at Chesterfield, contact us on (314) 207 0364.