Purpose of a Dental Sealant
One of the most effective preventive dental tools available today is dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied to back teeth that have not been affected by dental decay. Your family dentist can help keep teeth healthy, but it is up to the parent and/or individual to take the advice given and make it happen.
Dental sealants are applied to teeth to fill in the pits that exist on the surface of teeth. These pits are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which ultimately can evolve into tooth decay. The sealant is “painted” on to teeth that have been cleaned. The sealant is dried and becomes a protective coating that keeps those little openings in dental enamel free from problems.
It is important to note that sealants can be worn away or chipped, and could require reapplication. The lifetime of a sealant could be jeopardized if the patient grinds their teeth, but sealants have the potential to last up to ten years.
Children should have their first visit to the family dentist around twelve months of age. This first appointment is not intended to have sealants placed; however, it is designed to allow the dentist to do a quick exam to spot potential problems. In addition, this appointment should be the first of many to familiarize the child with the dental visit so they will have attained a comfort level with the actions and sounds of the dentist’s office.
This first visit is also a perfect opportunity for parents to learn the best ways they can help their children maintain excellent dental health. Dental sealants will be part of that education process … they might even be beneficial for application to baby teeth if it is noted that these teeth are particularly vulnerable to pits and grooves.
Brushing at least twice per day; flossing daily; using a fluoridated rinse if recommended; seeing the dentist twice per year for a complete cleaning and dental exam … these are all important to maintain dental health. But to maximize the effects of daily care and your dentist’s efforts, applying dental sealants as early as recommended can protect your child’s teeth from active dental decay.
To learn more about dental sealants or to schedule your child’s exam, contact the office of Dr. Kimberley Capua at 972-418-1811 today.