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Wouldn't it be nice if one could prevent cavities instead of suffering from the pain, the ordeal of visiting the dentist several times for fillings or root canal treatment? Especially when it comes to children? Dental sealants are options whichpaedodontists suggest to parents for preventing cavities in children. Here are some facts you should know about them:
Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs in the grooves on the grinding or chewing surfaces of back teeth. Sealants keep bacteria and food particles out of these grooves and protect the teeth.
Sealants are made of clear or shaded plastic and are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Depending on the type used, they may harden on their own through chemical process or a special light may be used to harden them.
No matter how thoroughly you brush it is difficult -- sometimes impossible for your toothbrush bristles to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your teeth in danger of decay. Sealants 'seal out' food and plaque; thus reducing the risk of decay.
Applying sealants during childhood will protect the teeth throughout the most cavity-prone years because sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. Sealants will last longer if you maintain good oral hygiene and avoid biting hard objects. During routine dental visits the dentist will check the sealants and may recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.
Sealant application is a quick and comfortable procedure. It takes only one visit and drilling or removing tooth structure is not required.
The tooth to be sealed is first cleaned. It is then conditioned with an acid solution and dried. The sealant is then painted onto the pit and grooves of the tooth and allowed to harden or hardened with a special light.
The saliva usually keeps the smooth surfaces of teeth clean but does not wash out the grooves and fissures. So, the teeth most at risk of decay and therefore most in need of sealants - are the permanent molars.
Any tooth with grooves or pits may benefit from the protection of sealants like the permanent premolars and primary (milk teeth) molars.
Less commonly, dental sealants may be used in adults with increased risk for caries. They are placed on teeth with deep pits and fissures that do not already have fillings.
Sealants are a part of a complete preventive dental care. Dental sealants protect only the area that they are applied on. Even if you have sealants, brushing, flossing, balanced diet, limited snacking, and regular dental visits are still essential to a healthy cavity free dentition.
Photo source: www.dealspot.ph
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