Preventing Cavities With Sealants
Children can be at risk for developing cavities even if they practice good brushing habits. The back teeth, or molars, are especially susceptible. The chewing surfaces of those teeth contain numerous tiny grooves called pits and fissures. Bacteria and food particles can easily become trapped in these grooves and lead to cavities. An easy and effective way to protect these teeth and prevent cavities is with sealants. Dr. John Kelly, the experienced family dentist at Bethesda Row Dental in Bethesda, MD, can protect your child’s teeth with dental sealants.
How Sealants Help
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that sealants are effective at preventing the majority of cavities that would normally develop in the back teeth of children. These teeth have a higher risk for cavities because they have a large surface area with many places for bacteria and food particles to become trapped. Brushing thoroughly does not always completely remove bacteria hiding in the pits and fissures. Sealants help prevent cavities by forming a protective barrier over the chewing surfaces of teeth, which stops food particles and bacteria from getting trapped inside the small grooves.
The skilled family dentist at our office in Bethesda, MD, can quickly and easily apply sealants to your child’s teeth in just one dental appointment. There are a few steps to placing sealants. The teeth are first cleaned and dried. Next, a solution is applied to the teeth that gently etches the surface to help the sealant adhere better. The teeth are then rinsed and dried one more time Finally, a liquid sealant material is brushed on the teeth, then dried with a special curing light. The hardened sealants provide a protective barrier to keep cavity-causing bacteria out.
Caring for Sealants
The best way to care for sealants is by maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Kids should continue brushing and flossing daily. Avoiding hard candies and similar food items is also a good idea. Additionally, scheduling regular dental checkups with cleanings is important and provides an opportunity for the dentist to examine the sealants for wear and tear. Sealants usually last for several years, but can slowly wear down over time. Regular dental visits make it easy to reapply sealants when needed so your child’s teeth remain protected from cavities.
Sealants can substantially reduce your child’s risk of developing cavities in the back teeth, which are especially vulnerable. To have sealants placed on your child’s teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly, our exceptional family dentist, call Bethesda Row Dental in Bethesda, MD, at (301) 657-3220.