Sealants rescue teeth. “My Teeth are sealed,” is obviously a play on words. When children (and even adults) hear a great secret, they say, “My lips are sealed.” However, in this article from Dentistry for Children, we are loudly singing the praises of sealant.
The clever comment, “My teeth are sealed” was the adorable pronouncement of a young dental patient, Dustin, after the doctor applied dental sealant to his teeth. And his words were complimented by a snappy salute, and the command, “Shields up!”
An Invisible Force of Protection: Sealants Rescue Teeth
To understand, you must realize that Dustin is a devoted Star Trek fan. You don’t have to watch many episodes of Star Trek or any other space show to understand the concept of putting up a shield to protect from alien attack. (Thus the command, “shields up!”) Dustin brags that Dr. King’s sealant has put up an invisible shield around his teeth, to protect from the invasion of decay. (Or Sugar Bugs. Or Aliens.) And amazingly, he is correct. The sealant provides protection from decay, although we are not sure about the aliens. Read on to discover more about how sealants rescue your child’s teeth.
A Force Field for Teeth
As we have explained in previous blogs, “Sealant is a clear or slightly shaded plastic material–invisible. Put simply, the dentist paints it into the pits and grooves of children’s teeth. Then, the sealant shields the teeth and silently protects them from invasion from “sugar bugs.” This prevents tooth decay. So, it does act just like an invisible shield protecting a spaceship.
Sealants Rescue Teeth and Budgets
As we said in a previous blog, “The AAPD recommends sealants as an effective method for cavity prevention, especially for those children with a history of tooth decay.” Obviously, the sealant protects your child from the discomfort of cavities and fillings. Likewise, Dentistry for Children wants you to know “sealants are one of the most cost-effective means of preventing cavities. – They cost less than half of what one filling costs!”
5 Concepts Show How Sealants Rescue Teeth
Here in Oviedo Florida, Dr. Troy King often recommends protecting your child’s teeth with sealant.
Shielding Your Enamel
Let’s get specific about the types of teeth that dental sealants rescue and protect. “Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay.”
- By the way, are you aware that 80-90 percent of the cavities in your child’s future could be avoided with a dental sealant?
- So, it is surprising that this easy, reasonably priced treatment can protect children from the misery of cavities now and uncomfortable dental procedures in the future.
How Sealants Work:
If you could see the surfaces of your child’s teeth through a high-powered microscope, you would quickly understand the way sealants rescue teeth. You would see “the landscape of minuscule crevices, pits, and fissures” that make up the chewing surfaces of molars.
Of course, you would instantly perceive how these “tiny grooves, indentations and scratches on the surface of your child’s teeth, provide a ideal places for germs and bits of food to linger.” Families often get too busy for perfectly proper brushing, and the decay attacks these teeth.
Rescuing Children from Painful Procedures in the Past and in the Present
“In turn, this can cause decay, cavities, infection and pain. Cavities lead to drilling, filling, crowning, infections and root canals.” Thus, more severe dental expenses as the years continue.”
Likewise, the American Academy of General Dentistry states, “Surveys show the majority of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria are not easily cleaned out.”
An Enhancement for Proper Tooth Brushing
Thus, you can understand, a good sealant procedure, done as soon as molars erupt, picks up preventative measures where tiny brushes fail. Additionally, we want to make a couple of research-inspired important points concerning which teeth really need sealants as well as brushing.
- We understand you might be pondering why we concentrate sealant on the back teeth. It’s simple. Pediatric dentists know that “most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces.”
- Likewise, any tooth judged by a pediatric dentist as chipped, pitted or crevassed, is a candidate for treatment with a dental sealant.
- Additionally, the 6 year and 12 year molars are considered the most vulnerable. Research has proven they are also the teeth that statistically receive the best benefits of sealant.
The Procedure: Sealants at Dentistry for Children
You will be pleased to know the process for applying a sealant to your child’s teeth is neither painful nor surgical. Dr. King is gentle and patient and explains every step he takes:
- Getting Clean: He meticulously makes certain the surface of the tooth is sparkling clean.
- Drying Well: King gently dries each tooth. Then, he tucks fine cotton padding around it. Maintaining the dryness of the tooth is an absolutely critical part of the procedure.
- Special Solution: He puts a special solution on the tooth. This substance prepares and microscopically adds rough texture to the surface of the tooth so the sealant will stick.
- More Rinsing and Drying: In the next step, he rinses and dries the tooth again. Once more, he diligently surrounds it with fresh cotton and keeps each tooth bone dry.
- Moments of Truth: Finally, with steady precision, and utmost care, Dr. King artfully applies the liquid sealant to the tiny fissures, dips and pits that mark the surface of the tooth. And Dustin, who opened our story above, would say, “My teeth are sealed!”
- Within moments, the shield hardens to a hard protective surface. (The bond seems like science fiction, but it’s 21st century science!) And Dustin would say, like his science fiction hero, Capt. Kirk, “Shields up!”
- How Long can Sealants Rescue Teeth? Remarkably, this treatment might remain effective for 5 to 10 years. However, monitored and maintain your child’s regular dental check-ups.
- Since it is not really a force field, the sealant can be “repaired.” If Dr. King performs a repair, if he notices new pits or crevices during a regular dental exam. This is a huge advantage of having a dental home.
Experience Proves This Tried and True Procedure
As we have stated in previous blogs, over his years of experience with children, Dr. King has built belief in sealants as a part of a tried and true treatment to prevent decay.
Likewise, Mark Ritz, DDS, MAGD, and a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, stated, “Parents should consider sealants as a preventive measure in their child’s oral health and discuss this option with their dentist.”
Sealants Can’t Do It All In the Fight Against Decay
Of course, this amazing sealant treatment can only do part of the job. Sealants are only part of the common sense practices that protect your child’s teeth. Follow recommend good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, Fluoride treatments, and regular dental check-ups here at Children’s Dentistry.
As always, thank you for reading this week’s blog. And please visit us again for more trending information about keeping your child’s smile healthy for a life-time.