A dental sealant is a plastic coating applied to the surface of the tooth as a preventive measure against decay. Since it tightly covers the incoming teeth, it protects the enamel of each individual tooth. While daily brushing and flossing helps keep your teeth clean from food debris, it may not keep every single tooth safe in those hard to reach areas.
Tooth decay is more likely in the grooves of molars when they initially come in. The sealant will cover the jagged grooves of an incoming tooth to create a smooth surface which dramatically reduces the chances of developing a cavity. Sealants are best used starting at age 6 and may even be useful for baby teeth to help ensure that the baby teeth do not come out too soon.
How does the operation work? The process involves first cleaning the teeth with a paste and rotating brush. Then, a solution is applied which changes the surface of the tooth to allow the sealant to form a tight bond to the tooth. Then the tooth is cleaned again and dried and the liquid sealant is added onto the tooth. The dentist then uses either a light or a second chemical component as a catalyst to harden the seal. Once it hardens, it remains as a smooth coating and a protective shield for years to come, and your child can chew and eat just as easily as before..
Sealants can help prevent decay for years, but it’s best to have them examined regularly or to see if they should be replaced. Does your child need sealants for their molars? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Alexis today to see if your child needs sealants at 540-486-5111.