Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I was told that I should get sealants on my child’s teeth. What are they and are they necessary?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating which is painted on children’s teeth to help prevent decay.  Sealants help prevent tooth decay by coating the surface of the teeth so that plaque does not accumulate on the tooth.

Process for applying sealants:
  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  • The teeth are dried and cotton is placed around the teeth. 
  •  A solution is put on the teeth which makes the surface of the teeth a little rough. 
    •   The roughness of the tooth will allow the sealant to adhere to the teeth better.
  •   The teeth are rinsed and dried. New clean dry cotton is placed around the teeth. 
  •    The sealant is painted onto the teeth. The sealant hardens in a few seconds. The cotton is removed.
The back teeth or molars have deep grooves which allow food to accumulate and subsequently plaque.  Since younger children do not always have the skills to clean their back teeth, this is where decay usually is seen. Sealants will cover the areas to prevent this. As a child grows to adulthood, they are better able to clean their back teeth, which is why it is not a standard procedure for adults.

Sealants last about 10 years. It is advised to continue regular checkups to ensure that the sealant has not chipped or worn away. If this has happened, either the dentist or hygienist can easily repair this by applying more sealant material.

Dr. Vaidehi Mehta
Neibauer Dental Care Orthodontics - Prince Frederick, VA
Call for an appointment today: (410) 535-0296

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Always consult your dentist for options to your particular dental needs.


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Information contained in this site is general and educational. Only a medical professional can provide advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a dental care need, please contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment.