Children who suffer from frequent cavities are more likely to suffer from decay and other issues as an adult. At Value Dental Centers Tempe, we focus on prevention at an early age to preserve our patients’ natural teeth as long as possible. We recommend dental sealants for many of our pediatric patients at our Tempe, AZ, office. This long lasting liquid plastic seals off the deep grooves in the back molars to prevent cavities. Combined with proper brushing and flossing, and regular exams and cleanings, sealants can preserve your child’s teeth and oral health through adulthood.
Is My Child a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Once the chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars fully erupt through the gums, he or she will likely benefit from dental sealants. The back molars often have deep grooves where food particles and bacteria collect. These grooves are difficult for children to keep clean, even for those who brush and floss daily. By proactively placing dental sealants when these teeth erupt, tooth decay can easily be prevented.
Even with dental sealants, it is important to teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques. Dental sealants are only effective if your child’s teeth are properly cared for. This includes regular dental exams and cleanings, as well. We can help teach your child brushing and flossing techniques to instill good oral hygiene habits. Dental sealants and daily brushing and flossing can go a long way in maintaining your child’s oral health.
In some cases, dental sealants may be recommended for adults as well. Some of our adult patients have deeper grooves in their back molars than most patients. It can be a struggle for even our most diligent patients to keep these teeth clean. A dental sealant can provide a barrier from food particles and bacteria to prevent decay.
What Will Happen During My Child’s Appointment?
Prior to placing dental sealants, we thoroughly clean your child’s teeth to remove any bacteria and food particles. Your dentist will lightly etch the teeth with a mildly acidic solution. This solution is safe for dental use and will not cause your child any discomfort. Etching the teeth creates a rougher surface. This rough surface will create a stronger bond for the sealant. After rinsing off the solution, we will dry the teeth. Your dentist will carefully apply the liquid plastic sealant to the chewing surfaces of each of the erupted molars.
The sealant will adhere to the teeth, filling in the grooves of the molars. A specialized light will dry and harden the sealant in the same way light is used to harden fillings. Once dry, the sealant will appear clear or white to blend in completely with your child’s smile.
Dental Sealant Benefits
A dental sealant creates a protective shield for the back molars. These sealants prevent food particles and bacteria from getting stuck in the deep grooves of the teeth. By protecting these teeth from bacteria, we can effectively prevent tooth decay in your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are long lasting, and can be repaired or replaced as needed to provide your child with continual protection. Sealants are one of the most cost-effective preventive surfaces available. When combined with proper at-home care and biannual exams and cleanings, sealants are 100% effective in tooth decay prevention.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today
The sooner we can place dental sealants, the sooner your child can enjoy the benefits of a healthier smile. Contact Value Dental Centers Tempe today to schedule an appointment for your child.