What are dental sealants? Are they important for my child? Are they worth the cost?
To answer this question let’s understand something about teeth. Your child’s permanent teeth have natural deep grooves we call pits and fissure! The sad news is these fissures act as food traps. meaning every time your child eats. remnants of food get stuck regardless of brushing after meals!
What this really means is that decay can start within your child’s permanent teeth as a result of these natural candy sticking deep grooves! Makes sense?
These pits and fissures also house bacteria causing tooth decay in children’s teeth, and these grooves can’t be cleaned totally with an ordinary toothbrush. Luckily! we as dentists’ developed fissure sealants that fill these grooves and prevent bacteria from getting in.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reported that Dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for two years after application. There are many benefits of the simple and inexpensive dental sealant in children above 6 years of age. Isn’t this just great news?
A few questions answered:
Q1. What are fissure sealants?
A Sealant is a thin protective plastic coating that covers the surfaces biting into food usually. This effectively shields that surface of the tooth away from decay causing bacteria. It is exclusively applied to back molars only.
Q2. Does my child need fissure sealants? What is the best age to apply fissure sealants?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), 80 to 90 percent of cavities occur on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth, whereas 44 percent occur on baby teeth.
Therefore, most dentists advice children above the age of 6 years, do get a dental screening to catch if they are susceptible to getting decay or not.
Most children start get their permanent back teeth around the age of 6. Some children may get them a little early or a little later and these are common variabilities.
Sometimes, even milk teeth do have deep fissures and grooves; with such a case your pediatric dentist may advice getting even the baby teeth sealed- again the aim is to prevent decay from happening totally!
Your child’s dentist will advise you if your child’s teeth need to be sealed and which tooth should be sealed after examination and a regular dental exam.
Fissure Sealants should be applied as soon as your child’s first permanent teeth start to grow. In other words, it can be applied between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest teeth are sealed as soon as they appear, it can be any time when your child is between 11 and 14 years.
Q3. How does the procedure go?
Sealants are usually quick and straightforward to apply. It takes a few minutes for each tooth as your . The Dentist will clean your child’s tooth and prepare it with a special solution and dry it. Then the liquid sealant is applied and allowed to set by shining a bright light onto it.
Q4. How long do fissure sealants last?
Fissure Sealants can last for many years; however your child dentist must check them regularly to make sure that the seal is intact. Their life span ranges from 2 to 5 years according to regular maintenance. I usually advice all my patients to come regularly for a routine recall of the sealants just to make sure no decay is starting underneath if the sealant was chipped. Most of the parents I see that are true to that recall, have absolutely been grateful for putting those sealants in years back!
QUICK WORD OF ADVICE!
It is still very important to brush your child’s teeth very diligently; if regular tooth brushing was not followed, the sealant will be rendered ineffective! Promise!
The sealed surface is much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal brushing twice a day now! There is no reason not to brush anymore. Don’t forget to use a fluoride toothpaste twice during the day, this will help to protect your child’s teeth. Fissure sealing will prevent tooth decay and the number of fillings that your child needs.
Dental fissure sealants are a safe and lasting way of curbing tooth decay. Once your child’s teeth are sealed, and your child is following the home care, you can rest and make sure you’re your child will enjoy a lifetime of excellent oral health.
If you need advice about your child oral health, or if you are looking for the best pediatric dentist or best pediatrician in Dubai, check the clinic at www.mypediaclinic.com. It’s our pleasure.