Sealants for Kids
Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, including kids. However, kids have a harder time properly brushing their teeth. They also may try to avoid brushing or rush through the motions to get it done with as soon as possible. This leaves your child more prone to cavities. Some areas of the teeth are more vulnerable than others. One of the most vulnerable areas is the chewing surfaces of the molars. These surfaces have deep grooves and crevices that more easily collect plaque, bacteria, and other food particles, and can be very difficult to clean thoroughly. Harmony Dental can help your child to protect their molars from cavities with sealants.
How Does My Child Get Cavities?
Cavities are the result of untreated decay. Decay happens when the acids from plaque, oral bacteria, and certain types of foods and beverages sit on your teeth for too long. The acids eat away at your tooth enamel, leading to weak spots. Tooth decay can be reversed. When it goes untreated, the weak spots eventually lead to the formation of cavities. Cavities cannot be reversed. Instead, they need to be treated, which is typically done with fillings. Without treatment, cavities worsen, compromising the strength and health of the affected tooth. Your child is also at risk for infection. Even an infected baby tooth can impact the health of the adult tooth developing underneath.
Providing Protection with Sealants
Sealants are a synthetic application that is provided to cover over the deep crevices and grooves found on the chewing surfaces of the molars. Made up of plastic, sealants prevent food particles, bacteria, plaque, and other debris from getting trapped in an area that is difficult for your child to brush properly. At the same time, sealants also help to make the teeth easier to keep clean.
How are Sealants Applied?
Getting sealants is a quick, simple, and completely painless process. Your child will not need any local anesthetic, which means they will not need to worry about needles, and they do not need sedation. The process for placing sealants begins with a thorough cleaning of the teeth. Next, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of the molars, which creates a rough texture on the teeth so that the sealant material can more easily adhere. We then apply the sealant material and cure it with a special light. Once the material has been cured, or dried, it provides your child with immediate protection against cavities.
Ensuring the Effectiveness of Sealants
Sealants are an effective solution that can last a long time with proper care. Despite being made from plastic, they can stand up to a significant amount of biting and chewing. Should the sealants become damaged, though, they can be easily replaced.
It is important to remember that even though the sealants protect the grooves and crevices on the molars from the development of cavities, they are no substitute for good oral hygiene practices. Your child should still brush twice a day and floss once daily. Sealants may protect the chewing surfaces of the molars, but the other surfaces of their teeth are still vulnerable. Sealants are only effective when used in conjunction with a good oral hygiene routine.
With sealants, we can help your child to prevent decay and cavities in more vulnerable areas of their teeth. Call Harmony Dental at (541) 246-3250 today to learn more.