Great dental practices are very important to teach your children at a young age, but there are times
when regular brushing and flossing fail to prevent cavities. There are many nooks and crannies that are
very hard to reach and completely clean for a youngster. Molars (located in the back of your mouth) are
used the most for chewing, and with their rough, uneven surfaces (these are called “pits and fissures”) it
is an ideal location for bits of food and cavity causing bacteria to get trapped and hide out in. However,
there is a way to help keep cavities at bay.
Dental sealants are a thin, protective plastic resin coating that are applied to these grooves which
creates a smoother surface area more resistant to tooth decay. Everyone has bacteria that lives in their
mouth, which when met with leftover food bits create an acid that can produce holes in teeth, or
cavities. Think of sealants as an umbrella. Once the sealant is applied, it seals out the acid and bacteria
from settling into the pits of your teeth, just like an umbrella would keep the rain off of you.
Children can start getting their first set of molars around 6 years of age, and their second set will break
through around 12 years. These young permanent teeth are still fragile and not as resistant to decay as
adults. It takes time for the hard enamel shell to develop and become strong, so the sooner you get
sealants applied to permanent molars, the better. Doing this will help protect teeth through ages of 6 to
14, which are known as the “cavity-prone years”. There have been some instances where baby teeth
have received sealants, due to their deep pits and grooves. Keeping baby teeth as healthy as possible is
just as important because these teeth help to hold the exact arrangement for permanent teeth later on.
Of course adults can also benefit from sealants as long as they are without decay or fillings in the area.
Sealant application is easy and painless, taking no more than a few moments to put on. Your dentist or
hygienist will make sure your teeth have been cleaned thoroughly, and dried. Next an acidic gel is
applied to the chewing surface making the teeth a little rougher, helping the sealant bond to the teeth.
Another quick cleaning and drying happens, which is followed by coating the sealant onto the tooth
enamel where it bonds itself and hardens by using a blue light.
Having dental sealants protects your teeth 80% better from decay but does not completely prevent it, so
it is still important to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis. Having minor wear and tear to sealants
is expected, and your dentist or hygienist will check them on regular check-ups, but will normally last up
to 10 years. Let the Pediatric Dentistry of Jupiter be your number one choice for a pediatric dentist inJupiter FL.