Dental sealants are commonly recommended by pediatric dentists in Millis MA to reduce the risk of tooth decay in children. Sealants are an important part of your child’s preventive dental care regimen. By sealing the deep grooves and crevices that can naturally develop in the biting surfaces of the molars and premolars, we can prevent cavities from forming in the places that are hardest for kids to keep clean.
If the pediatric dentist has recommended sealants for your child, these 6 simple steps will make the procedure easier to understand:
- The procedure begins with a healthy molar or premolar tooth that is free from tooth decay or any dental restoration. It’s best to place a sealant on a molar or premolar within the first few months of its eruption into the mouth.
- The tooth is brushed cleaned with a pumice material, rinsed, and dried thoroughly.
- An etchant material is applied to the grooves and crevices on the biting surfaces of the tooth. After a few seconds, the etchant material is rinsed away and the tooth is dried again.
- A clear or tooth-colored liquid sealant material is painted into the grooves and crevices. *It is very important that the tooth stays very dry during this step. The dental patient must keep the mouth open wide and remain very still. No wiggling!
- A blue light is used to cure or harden the sealant material. This step takes just a few seconds.
- The dentist will use a small instrument to feel the cured sealant and ensure that the material has covered and filled all of the tooth’s grooves and crevices.
*These steps are repeated on each tooth that the dentist has recommended for sealants.
Here are a few more things that you should know about dental sealants:
- The teeth do not need to be numb for sealants.
- Sealants do not typically require any drilling or removal of tooth structure.
- Sealants are usually applied to permanent teeth, but can be placed on baby teeth, too.
- As soon as the sealant is cured, it is as hard as it needs to be. It’s okay to eat and drink right away.
- Sticky or gummy foods should be avoided once the sealants have been placed to prevent the sealants from coming off.
- Sealants can remain on the teeth well into adulthood.
For more information on dental sealants, make an appointment at a Millis dental practice today.