How Do Dental Sealants Work?
At Hines Little Smiles, we provide a wide range of pediatric dentistry services to not only address issues your child is facing but also to prevent issues that may arise in the future. Dr. Hines and the rest of our team offer dental sealants as one such preventative treatment. In many of our patients, we have seen molars and premolars (their back teeth) can be affected more regularly by tooth decay, and, as such, we may recommend dental sealants to stop this. But how do they work?
How do dental sealants work?
These devices are made of a thin coating of plastic, designed to be fitted directly on top of a patient’s teeth. Most commonly, they are used for children, placed over their molars and premolars after they have erupted beyond the gum. In doing this, they offer a smooth, protective cover for the teeth, preventing plaque and bacteria from infiltrating the tiny fissures that are in the teeth. Once applied by one of our pediatric dentists, the sealants will continue to cover and protect your child’s teeth for years.
The benefits of dental sealants
As your pediatric dentist, Dr. Hines and her team will always recommend a healthy dental hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to ensure the health of your kids’ teeth and is vital for removing the food bits and plaque that can cause tooth decay. However, the fissures that are particularly common on the permanent back teeth can be hard to clean out completely, which means they can become a hiding spot for plaque. Dental sealants are designed to stop plaque from reaching and getting into that area, preventing tooth decay.
How does the procedure work?
It takes just a few minutes to fix the dental sealant to each tooth. After a thorough cleaning, the sealant is painted onto the tooth in a liquid form to ensure it molds to the surface in a perfect fit. Then, we use a curing light to speed up the hardening process. Depending on how many teeth will be treated, it can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour.
How long do the dental sealants last?
Dental sealants are a thin coating of plastic, so it may look like they won’t be that strong. However, many of our patients have experienced them lasting for several years. After they start to lose their effectiveness, you can schedule an appointment with our team to have them reapplied. Until then, they should be able to conform to the tooth and protect them from decay without issue. We will know as soon as they start losing their shape through regular appointments as well.
Are dental sealants the right solution for your child
After first erupting, your child’s permanent molars and premolars in the back are very vulnerable to decay and cavities. If you want to ensure that they are protected as effectively as possible, contact us at Hines Little Smiles. We will gladly arrange an appointment and answer any questions.