Dental sealants are a quick and easy way to prevent cavities in young people. They’re well worth the time and money to ensure as few cavities in your kids’ developing years as possible. In school-aged kids and teens, most cavities are found in the grooves of the teeth further back in the mouth. These grooves are on the chewing surfaces and are particularly vulnerable to accumulations of food particles. The moist area and deep fissures prevent saliva from washing bacteria away, and thus kids are prone to cavities in those teeth.
Over the course of the dental sealant process, your dentist at Shelly’s Smile in Dallas will paint the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth with a thin layer of a liquid plastic. The plastic sinks into the pits, grooves, and fissures, keeping bacteria and food particles out. Sealants are usually placed on first molars, then second molars, which come in at ages six and twelve respectively.
At Shelly’s Smile in Dallas, the dental sealant application process is completely painless. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly, and a preparatory gel is painted to roughen the tooth a little to ensure a perfect bond. After the gel is rinsed off, the tooth is dried. Your dentist then paints the tooth surface with the dental sealant. It hardens within a minute and may be treated with a special light to speed the process.
Some parents have been concerned about the possible presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in sealants. The American Dental Association has done research that has failed to detect any BPA in the blood serum of anyone treated with sealants in their study.
Sealants cannot be applied to teeth that have had any sort of prior dental work, making it critical to have dental sealants placed as soon as possible. Dental sealants reduce 80 percent of all cavities for up to two years post-application and 50 percent for up to five years. Dental sealants may last up to 10 years, but it is essential to have them checked out at each visit to Shelly’s Smile in Dallas.