Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. They are very beneficial when used on permanent teeth.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic film placed directly into the pits and grooves of molar and premolar teeth. Sealants offer an added protection against tooth decay. They create a barrier between the tooth and plaque and/or debris that cause cavities. Often your toothbrush bristles may leave behind plaque in deep grooves and pits of the back teeth. Back teeth known as the molars or premolars can be difficult to reach properly with a toothbrush even for the adult patient.
When should sealants be applied?
Sealants should be applied as soon as the first permanent back teeth erupt, that is first molar and should be continued to be applied to the rest of the permanent teeth when they erupt such as second molars and premolars.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.
- Dr.irfana Fathima