Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your child’s chewing teeth, sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This will ‘seal’ the high risk areas from decay.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth and do not require any type of injection. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Sealants are like the tires on your car. How long the treads on your tires last depends on what kind of driver you are. When the treads wear down it’s time for new tires. Sealants are much the same way. If your child has a grinding habit or eats a lot of hard crunchy foods his/her sealants will wear down faster. All sealants in time wear down simply due to eating and chewing food. We monitor your child’s sealants at each healthy smile visit and recommend replacement when needed to ensure continued protection from decay.
If your child has had sealants placed, please be aware of the following:
- Your child had preventive sealants placed today. The clear, or white shaded coating, seals the deep pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent decay.
- It is a normal feeling for the bite to feel a little “high” after sealant placement. Some children key into this temporary feeling more than others. There may be a slight after taste immediately following the application. A rinse with water will help to reduce this taste.
- As with all dental procedures the longevity of sealants varies with each individual. Effectiveness of sealants is influenced by bite patterns, grinding, ice or hard candy chewing, and bacterial plaque levels. Good oral hygiene is important. Soft drinks should only be an occasional treat. The bacteria in the mouth convert soft drink sugars into acid. Diet soda is also high in acid. This acid attacks not only the teeth but can contribute to sealant failures. The condition of the sealants placed are checked at each healthy smile visit. Any length of time that a sealant remains intact is successful as it has protected the tooth from decay for that time period. Our goal with sealants is to conserve tooth structure for a lifetime of dental health!