Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of children’s back teeth to help prevent tooth decay, which can be the result of plaque build up in the fissures and groove of the teeth.
Why Dental Sealants?
Our teeth are not completely smooth. We all have fissures and grooves in our teeth where plaque and bacteria can build up without careful brushing and flossing. Everyone's fissures and grooves are different.
If your child's grooves and fissures are particularly deep, the toothbrush bristles may not be able to reach in far enough to remove the plaque buildup.
If this is the case, your dentist may suggest a sealant be applied so that the tooth decay and cavities that are the inevitable result of plaque buildup over time can be prevented.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are easily applied. The dentist simply ‘paints’ the sealant onto the surface of the tooth, and then the sealant bonds to the tooth, including in the pits and fissures, and hardens.
This creates a barrier that protects the tooth enamel from acid plaque. The tooth surface will be protected from decay as long as the sealant remains intact.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants will last for years under normal chewing patterns, and can be reapplied when they start to wear down. Your child's dentist will monitor the condition of the sealant during regular dental checkups, to make sure it’s still in good shape.