Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. Sealants are made of a plastic material, and are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot always reach all the way into the depressions and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth (also known as pits and fissures), to remove food and plaque. Dental sealants protect these surfaces by keeping plaque and bacteria out.
Sealants are easy to apply and can be done during a regular checkup and cleaning visit. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. As long as the sealant remains in place, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a needing to be reapplied. During your child’s regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them if necessary.
After the sealants are applied, your child may notice a funny taste, but this will go away quickly. It is important to follow the post visit instructions provided by the doctor and staff to make sure your child’s dental sealants last as long as possible.
Dental sealants cannot completely prevent tooth decay, however. It is extremely important to maintain an effective oral hygiene routine at home which consists of brushing twice per day for two minutes, and flossing at least once. It is also very important that you bring your child to 1st Family Dental for regular dental checkup and cleaning visits every 6 months.