Deborah Troy, DDS, Charles Yau DDS, and the expert team at RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry in Downtown Rye, New York, are skilled providers who can apply dental sealants to your child’s teeth to prevent tooth decay and infection. This quick and painless procedure effectively prevents cavities and reduces the need for fillings and crowns. If you would like to know more about this simple preventative procedure, call RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry, or book online today.
Dental sealants act as a barrier between teeth and bacteria to prevent tooth decay and cavities. They are a plastic-like material that a dentist paints onto the chewing surfaces of newly formed, permanent back teeth (premolars and molars) where tooth decay develops most frequently.
Thorough brushing and flossing habits can help remove food particles and plaque from smooth tooth surfaces, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into depressions and grooves of the teeth to remove every bit of food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable spots by sealing out food and plaque.
Sealants are extremely effective in preventing cavities. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), sealants have been shown to reduce cavities by 86% the first year after they are applied and 58% after four years. Sealants can last up to 10 years. Your child's dentist will check the condition of their sealants during routine exams and cleanings.
Unlike a filling, sealants are done quickly and without the need for drilling or anesthetics. The application process is quick, easy and painless.
First, the tooth is cleaned and then isolated. Next, a special gel is applied to the chewing surface. After a few seconds, the gel is washed off, and the tooth is dried. Then your child's dentist paints the sealant material onto the tooth surface—the plastic resin sinks into the pits and fissures. Within a minute, the material hardens to form a protective shell. Typically, sealants are applied to the back molars, but any tooth that contains fissures or deep pits can be sealed.
Sealants are usually applied to children between the ages of 6 and 13, the years they are most prone to getting cavities. It is often a good idea to apply sealants to molars as soon as they come in. The first set of molars usually emerges around age 6, and the second set around age 12. When sealed early, sealants can help children have cavity-free oral health from the start.
If you think that your child might benefit from dental sealants, call RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry or book online today.