Health & Medical
Your first line of defense against cavities should include brushing and flossing every day. But the bristles on your toothbrush might still be too big to fit into those nearly invisible cracks. We often recommend tooth sealants for children, who need extra protection while they learn how to brush properly. Sealants also fill in pits and fissures that would otherwise collect plaque and food debris. SEALANTS? WHAT ARE TOOTH Sealants are a thin coating of a hardy material that is placed over the teeth as an extra layer of protection. When we apply the liquid sealant, it flows into the grooves of your teeth. Then, we use a special curing light to harden the material. Once it hardens, the coating serves as a seal that guards against tooth decay. FOR ADULTS? ARE THEY ALSO HELPFUL Typically, sealants are applied to children’s teeth around the ages of 4 to 7. We like to put them on teeth as soon as the first permanent molars come in. Then, we may recommend doing it again when your child’s second molars arrive, usually around the time a child turns 12. We do offer sealants to older kids and adults. The material works best if the tooth is free of decay, which is why we may recommend other treatments for people with cavities or chips in their teeth. If your teeth are still healthy, then you can absolutely get sealants. Just let us know if you’re interested. SEALANTS LAST? HOW LONG DO Professionally applied sealants can last as long as 9 or 10 years. They are the most effective during the first two years. During your child’s dental exams, we’ll check the sealant to see if it needs to be replaced. SCIENCE SAY? WHAT DOES THE Studies have shown that sealants can prevent 80% of cavities for two years and about 50% after the four-year mark. Applying tooth sealants is painless and only takes a few minutes during a normal office visit. Considering that they can prevent the majority of cavities for several years, they are definitely worth it. Let us know if you’re interested in sealants for yourself or your child.