Protect Your Pearly Whites
In addition to brushing and flossing twice a day, you can also take extra steps in protecting your kids’ teeth. The permanent molar teeth are most susceptible to cavities for two reasons. First, their chewing surface has more pits and fissures which can make it more difficult for toothbrush bristles to clean. Second, the majority of chewing is done with your molars, increasing the chances of food and bacteria getting stuck and causing decay. To protect your children’s molars, Big Blue Pediatric Dentistry can apply sealant when they come in; usually around 6 years old and 12 years old.
Sealant is a plastic material that is brushed on the chewing surfaces of molars in liquid form. The procedure is quick, and painless, and provides extra defense against cavity causing bacteria, and acidic food and liquid that can break down enamel over time. There is no drilling, grinding, or removal of any part of the tooth structure. Sealant lasts for three to five years, and will be checked by Dr. Snell each time they visit for their 6 month check up and cleaning.
A report published in July, 2017 by the Cochrane Collaboration, a group that studies and analyzes health information, found that the prevalence of cavities was reduced by 51% in children whose teeth were treated with sealant. Dr. Joel Berg, Dean of the School of Dentistry at University of Washington, also points out that applying sealant can also prevent adulthood dental health problems. Fillings, no matter how well placed, will eventually fail. When they fail, the tooth may need to be repaired with a crown or root canal. If we can stop the decay that causes cavities from the beginning, with sealant, we can help improve the future dental health of our children. And as we’ll talk about in another blog, dental health and overall health go hand in hand.
So what is the process? When your children’s pre-molars and molars appear around ages 6 and 12, respectively, Dr. Snell may decide that sealant is a good way to protect their teeth. She will first clean and dry the teeth being sealed. Then, she’ll brush a gel on their teeth that will help the sealant adhere to the surface of their molar. The gel is washed off and the teeth are dried again. The sealant is brushed on, and Dr. Snell shines a light on the molars to dry the sealant. That’s it!
If you are interested in sealants bring your kids into Big Blue Pediatric Dentistry. You are always welcome to bring your kids in if they have questions or are hesitant of their visit! You can find us at 1789 E College Pkwy Suite 121 in Carson City. We’re happy to explain everything in person, and address any concerns.