Friday, May 8, 2020

One Brushstroke = Ten Years of Cavity Protection

One Brushstroke = Ten Years of Cavity Protection

The cavity-prevention method called “sealing” is a very effective and easy way for dentists and parents to help greatly reduce the chance that children will develop tooth decay.

How it works: The sealant, brushed onto the surfaces of your child’s teeth, is actually a liquid form of plastic. The back teeth—premolars and molars, with their particularly deep crevices—benefit most from sealants. Without sealants, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can remain in those tough-to-reach spaces, away from the efforts of even the most conscientious tooth-brushers.

After we apply the sealant, it hardens rapidly and becomes a colorless physical barrier―it literally “seals up” those tooth crevices so food and bacteria cannot settle there. The best strategy appears to be applying sealant to the chewing surface of each back tooth as soon as possible after the tooth emerges in your child’s mouth. We often recommend sealing primary teeth as well.

Generally long lasting, one application of sealant can last for up to a decade. During each of your child’s checkups, we’ll inspect the sealant and apply more if necessary, because on occasion the sealant may wear away earlier than expected.

If there is a downside to applying dental sealant, it’s that parents and children can be lulled into a false sense of security. While sealants do effectively deter cavities from forming in children’s nook-and-cranny-filled back teeth, they provide no guarantee that all of your child’s teeth will remain cavity-free. To best protect the smooth surfaces of all teeth, expose them to fluoride—with fluoride toothpaste, fluoridated water and, in some cases for extra protection, a fluoride rinse.

Remember that, even with sealed teeth, your child needs to follow the rules of good dental hygiene. Your child still should brush twice a day, floss once a day, and avoid sticky candy and cookies unless he or she can brush right after eating them.

More questions about sealants? Talk to Dr. Jared and his clinical team at your child’s next visit to KiDDS Dental.

Call us to schedule an appointment today!  509-891-7070.

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