As a caring parent, you probably have moments when you wish you could put up a shield between your child and things that could harm them. When it comes to protecting their teeth, you can! Dental sealants in Long Beach stop tooth decay from happening in the first place, potentially sparing your child from having to endure unnecessary pain and you from having to pay for costly repairs. Could you or your growing child benefit from dental sealants? Ask Dr. Glen about it at your next visit and contact us to get it scheduled!
A dental sealant is a layer of clear plastic that is applied to the molars, or the large teeth in the back of the mouth that are used primarily for grinding up food. This coating goes on the chewing surface of the molars because that is where bits of food, plaque, and bacteria most easily accumulate. The sealant serves as a barrier keeping the tooth safe from decay. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants can prevent up to 80 percent of cavities in children!
Dental sealants are applied exclusively on the molars because these teeth are the most susceptible to decay. The deep grooves in these teeth can be more challenging to keep clean, especially for younger children learning how to brush independently, so this treatment is particularly beneficial for this age group. Once your child’s permanent molars have erupted (usually around age 6), they become eligible for dental sealants. When you bring your child to visit Dr. Glen regularly, he can keep an eye out for these teeth and recommend the best time to get dental sealants. Even though this treatment is often directed toward children, adults too can benefit from this procedure.
The dental sealant procedure itself is relatively fast, but it can offer up to 10 years of protection against cavities. We start by making sure the tooth is completely clean. Then, we use an acidic solution to create a slightly rough surface that the sealant can more easily adhere to. A thin layer of the clear liquid dental sealant is painted on the chewing surface, and then a curing light is directed on the site to solidify the sealant.