Those back teeth sure are different to reach when it comes time to brush them. Our Hingham, MA, dentist Dr. John Burns understands that this can be a particular challenge for children, especially as they learn how to properly brush their smiles. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these back teeth are often most susceptible to developing cavities. All you have to do is look at those deep grooves and pits in the chewing surfaces of those back teeth and you’ll understand just how easily bacteria can get trapped in there.
Luckily, dental sealants provide a simple solution for keeping out those harmful bacteria from chewing surfaces to reduce the risk of cavities in your child’s molars. In fact, studies have found that when sealants are placed early on they can prevent up to 81 percent of decay for two years after being placed, and can also prevent up to 50 percent decay for up to four years.
What is a dental sealant?
A sealant is a thin plastic layer that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars and premolars to block out decay. While maintaining a thorough brushing and flossing routine will certainly help to remove plaque and food from other areas of your child’s smile, it isn’t always as easy to get into these little ridges and depressions in the chewing surfaces. This is where sealants help greatly reduce the risk of food or plaque getting trapped in these areas.
How is a dental sealant applied?
This preventive dental process is quick and completely painless. It also only takes a few minutes to apply the sealant. In order to do this, your child’s teeth will need to be cleaned first. From there, we will apply a special acid solution over the chewing surfaces. This solution will roughen the surface to help the sealant stick to the tooth.
Once the acid solution is removed, we will paint the molars and premolars with the sealant before using a dental light to bond it to the tooth.
When can my child get dental sealants?
It’s a good idea that once your child’s permanent molars have come in that they visit their Hingham, MA, family dentist to find out if sealants can help them. If your child is between the ages of 6 to 14 they could benefit from this preventive dentistry. Of course, adults who are at a higher risk for cavities could also benefit from getting sealants later in life.
Do you want to sit down with our Hingham, MA, general dentist and discuss whether dental sealants are right for your little one? Call our office today. Getting sealants is easy and it can even be performed during your child’s next routine checkup to make it easy on your busy schedule.