Why Are Dental Sealants Recommended for Teeth?

Why Are Dental Sealants Recommended for Teeth? from Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental in Richmond, TXIn addition to excellent oral hygiene and frequent dental examinations, dental sealants are another preventative strategy that protects teeth from decay. In the United States, tooth decay and cavities remain the most prevalent pediatric dental conditions. Despite their significance, many parents are unaware of the purpose of dental sealants and their application for protecting a child's teeth against oral issues.

How effective are dental sealants?

It is essential to take preventative actions against cavities as early as possible. Cavities in children are more likely to continue into adulthood, perhaps leading to a cycle of oral health issues. A pediatric dentist can stop cavities before they occur with the help of dental sealants.

Baby and permanent teeth in children are more vulnerable to cavities than adults in the initial phases. The enamel, the outer layer of teeth, preserves the teeth and strengthens them over time. Fluoride in toothpaste, drinking water, and dental treatments may help build the minerals in the enamel. Still, preserving the pits and cracks of the teeth is more challenging. Most tooth decay occurs in the chewing surfaces of the rear teeth, the premolars, and the molars.

Cavities form as a result of progressive degradation of the tooth enamel. The bacteria in the mouth feast on the sugar in meals and produce acids that erode and damage the enamel. The molars and premolars have pits and fissures for chewing and crushing meals. These grooves and pits tend to trap debris, making thorough cleaning more difficult. As a result, molars and premolars are highly vulnerable to cavities.

Dental sealants are a protective material placed on the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars. The dentist will recommend sealants to act as an additional shield against decay. Cleaning the chewing surfaces with dental sealants is simpler since food is less likely to get stuck there.

Baby teeth are essential for the proper eruption of adult teeth because they act as placeholders for adult teeth. Preventing cavities helps to keep teeth from falling out prematurely. As a result, dental sealants may be applied to any tooth, whether a baby tooth or a permanent tooth.

When should sealants be used?

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) recommends sealing permanent teeth during the eruption before decay develops. Around the age of six, the first permanent molars emerge, followed by the second set between 11 and 13. The dentist may recommend sealing the child's premolars if they have deep grooves. These premolars develop between the ages of ten and 11.

The wisdom teeth are the last to emerge in the mouth. They may be difficult to accommodate since the jaws do not always have enough room. Typically, the dentist will advise an extraction. If the dentist thinks the wisdom teeth will be critical to the patient's dentition, they may suggest placing sealants to protect them against decay.

In summary

Dental sealants are a reliable and safe method to prevent tooth decay. To receive this preventative treatment for your child, contact our office today. We will answer any questions you may have, walk you through each step of the process, and schedule your child’s next appointment.

Request an appointment or call Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental at 832-579-0960 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

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