Sealants help your children avoid painful tooth decay. Your Jonesboro, AR, children's dentist, Dr. Emily Gairhan, offers the protective coatings at Gairhan Dental Care.
How do sealants help my children's teeth?
Sealants are designed to protect your child's pre-molars and molars from cavities. They're usually applied once your son or daughter's permanent teeth erupt.
The pre-molars and molars, located at the back of the mouth on both sides, contain small pits and grooves that help you tear and chew food. These structures tend to collect plaque, a colorless, sticky substance that causes tooth decay. Unfortunately, the pits and grooves are so small that they can't be reached with toothbrush bristles.
Clear plastic resin sealants fill in these tiny openings in your child's teeth and prevent plaque from forming in them.
Why are sealants recommended for children?
Your child's permanent pre-molars and molars are a little weak when they first erupt and are more susceptible to tooth decay. Sealants protect these fragile teeth and prevent cavities. Although many people regard cavities as minor nuisances, tooth decay weakens teeth and increases the chances that your child will one day need additional dental treatments on a tooth.
Sealants can also help you prevent cavities in your pre-molars and molars, although the coatings may not be covered by dental insurance if you're an adult.
How are sealants applied?
Before your child receives sealants, his or her teeth will be cleaned and dried, then etched with a solution that helps the sealants adhere to the biting surfaces of the teeth. Liquid sealants are brushed on to your child's pre-molars and molars, then hardened with a curing light. The entire process only takes a few minutes but protects your child from cavities for up to a year.
During regular checkups, your child's dentist will examine the sealants and reapply sealants if needed. Although sealants normally don't need to be replaced, they may wear away if your child grinds his or her teeth at night.
Protect your children's teeth with sealants! call your Jonesboro, AR, children's dentist, Dr. Emily Gairhan, at (870) 931-1100 to schedule your son or daughter's appointment.