Topic
Dental Sealants
Created by udent on 2/2/2008 12:00:00 AM

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants are safe, painless and an affordable way to help protect your child's back teeth from decay.


What are sealants? Dental Sealant
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants are safe, painless and an affordable way to help protect your child's back teeth from decay.

How do sealants help prevent decay?
The sealant material forms a protective barrier by bonding to tooth surfaces and covering natural depressions and grooves (called pits and fissures) in the teeth.

Are sealants suitable for all teeth?
Sealants are applied only to pit and fissure areas of chewing surfaces on back teeth.

When should children get sealants?
Sealants should be applied as soon as the first permanent molars (6-year molars) come in, between 5 and 7 years of age. The second molars (12-year molars) and the premolars should be sealed as soon as they come in, between 11 and 14 years of age. However, it's never too late to apply sealants, as long as the teeth are free of decay and fillings.

How long do sealants last?
Depending on your chewing pattern, the sealant effect can last many years. Occasionally, the dentist might need to replace or add a new layer of sealant material to keep the protective barrier strong and effective.

How are sealants applied?
A mild gel is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to etche the enamel and help it bond more effectively to the sealant material. The tooth is washed and dried. Then the sealant material is applied using a small brush and harden by using ultraviolet light. This procedure takes only a few minutes.

After getting dental sealants!
Avoid chewing on hard candy or very sticky foods. Here are some tasty, healthful snack alternatives that, combined with sealants, fluoride and good home care, can help to reduce your susceptibility to tooth decay:

  1. Reduced fat peanut butter
  2. Air-popped popcorn
  3. Fresh vegetables
  4. Fresh fruit
  5. Sugar-free, non-fat fruit yogurt
  6. Dry, unsweetened cereal

Helpful Tips:
Preventive dentistry is a few step approach.

  1. Brush and floss at least twice a day.
  2. Using Fluoride.
  3. Sealants.
  4. Balanced diet.
  5. Regular checkups 'twice a year'.
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