Dental Sealants For Decay Prevention
You may have heard about Oakland dental sealants but are not sure what they are and their benefits.
Children and teenagers teeth benefit most from sealants, or adults who have teeth without fillings or decay. Sealants are put over the back teeth, the molars and premolars, in order to prevent decay caused by the foods children eat. Even with regular flossing and brushing, teeth are still susceptible to decay from bacteria and plaque. Small particles of food get trapped in small crevices in and between the teeth and the enzymes they release can cause the tooth enamel to wear away and the teeth to decay. Sealants prevent this from happening, and can last for at least ten years.
Sealants are fast-drying liquids that are painted onto the tops of the back teeth, which are the ones that do the job of chewing food. The applied sealant dries on the ridges and in the depressions in the top of the teeth and seals them in an easy and painless procedure. Sealants are best used when the second teeth come through and are in place, but can also be used on first teeth to preserve them for as long as possible, until they are pushed out naturally by the new adult teeth.
It is important to keep the first teeth for as long as possible because they are space savers for the second teeth. If there is a long period before the second teeth fill the hole left by the extraction of a baby tooth, the second tooth may not have enough space to grow properly, and then your child might require braces. These can also be fitted to ensure a perfect set of adult teeth and there are braces which are virtually invisible and can be custom made for different stages of the straightening process. However, sealing the baby teeth can help prevent the need for braces.
Sealants can be applied either by a dentist or a hygienist. The teeth will be cleaned thoroughly. Then the teeth are carefully dried and an acid solution is put on the teeth that are to be sealed in order to roughen the surfaces to which the sealant will be applied. The teeth are then rinsed and dried once more, before the sealant is painted on. There may be a special light treatment so that the sealant will dry faster, but the whole procedure is painless and simple.
Your child’s teeth will have to be checked regularly to ensure that the sealant has not flaked off or chipped, but should this occur, the sealant can be reapplied. This treatment is covered by many medical insurance policies and will help your child keep their teeth longer. In the case of a teenager, the sealant will be a definite benefit, protecting back teeth from the ravages of decay.