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Sealing Out Tooth Decay

Tooth decay poses a growing concern among preschoolers, leading to discomfort and potential complications such as premature tooth loss and childhood periodontal disease. Dental sealants emerge as a valuable preventive measure against childhood caries, cavities, and tooth decay. When combined with biannual checkups and a robust home care routine, sealants fortify the mouth’s natural defenses, fostering healthier smiles.

Protecting Teeth with Sealants:

Dental sealants serve as a shield against oral bacteria and acidic substances, primarily targeting the molars nestled at the back of the mouth. These large, flat teeth are prone to decay due to their intricate pits and fissures, which are challenging to clean effectively. Sealing these surfaces prevents food particles and bacteria from infiltrating vulnerable tooth enamel, reducing the risk of decay.

In cases where children are deemed at high risk for tooth decay, additional teeth, such as bicuspids, may receive sealant coatings. However, it’s crucial to understand that sealants complement rather than replace fluoride supplements or general oral care practices. Despite this, they offer a less invasive, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional dental fillings.

Application Process:

Dental sealants typically consist of liquid plastic, applied after thorough cleaning and preparation of the molars. Some sealants exhibit a bright pink hue when wet, aiding dentists in ensuring comprehensive coverage of pits and fissures. Once applied, the sealant is cured using specialized blue spectrum natural light, resulting in a thin, durable layer that shields the tooth surface. This procedure is swift, painless, and completed in a single office visit.

Ideal Timing for Application:

Sealants are typically applied as soon as primary molars emerge, with durability contingent on individual oral habits. Permanent molars are also candidates for sealing upon eruption, and in some cases, sealant application may precede full molar growth. Regular monitoring during biannual dental visits ensures sealant integrity, as any signs of lifting may compromise their effectiveness.

For inquiries or concerns regarding dental sealants, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatric dentist.

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