Why Children’s Oral Health Demands Teeth Sealants

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Dental health is essential to overall health and quality of life. Preventing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss requires good oral hygiene and care. Regular dental checkups and oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, support a healthy smile and avoid other health issues. Teeth sealant is an excellent preventative dental treatment for tooth decay.

Emergence of Dental Sealants

In the 1960s, the concept of dental sealants emerged. Dentists acknowledged preventive measures as necessary to safeguard sensitive tooth structures, specifically molars and premolars. A material known as pit and fissure sealant, created by dentist Dr. Michael Buonocore, can be considered its earliest version. This substance was created by adhering resin to the enamel’s surface. Dental sealants experienced a surge in popularity throughout the 1980s as dentists began recognizing their ability to protect against tooth cavities, especially in children and adolescents.

Dental Sealants on Children’s Oral Health

Sealants are applied as a liquid and hardened to protect tooth pits and grooves. This smooth surface prevents germs and food particles from accumulating, decreasing decay.

Vulnerability to Cavities

Due to deeper pits and grooves, children are more likely to get cavities, especially in their molars and premolars. Brushing is harder in these deep grooves because food and bacteria can become trapped.

Newly Erupted Permanent Teeth

Sealants are administered shortly following the permanent molar eruption. Because newly erupted teeth have the most decay-prone chewing surfaces. Early sealant application protects teeth throughout their most vulnerable period.

Preventive Measure

Sealants can greatly reduce cavity risk. They help protect children’s teeth from cavities and dental work.

Teeth Sealant Types: Resin-based vs Glass Ionomer

Traits Resin-Based Glass Ionomer
Material Made of a plastic-like material called dental resin. Glass ionomer are made from a mixture of glass and an organic acid.
Application Applied in a liquid form and then hardened using a curing light. They connect immediately to the tooth without bonding agents because they are self-adhesive. Most are applied as liquids or pastes and set without a curing lamp.
Durability They are more durable and longer-lasting. May need more frequent reapplication.
Appearance Clear or tooth-coloured. More aesthetically pleasing. Less appealing than resin due to their translucent and yellowish tone.

Application Process 

Process Details
Dental Examination A dentist will examine the teeth and recommend sealants after a comprehensive check.
Cleaning the Teeth Before applying sealant, teeth are cleaned of plaque, dirt, and bacteria. Usually with a revolving brush or prophylactic paste.
Isolation of Teeth Keep teeth dry during application using cotton rollers or dental dams, as moisture affects sealant bonding.
Etching the Teeth Dentists etch teeth’s biting surfaces. This solution roughens enamel and improves sealant adhesion. Rinse the etching gel off and dry the teeth.
Sealant Application Apply sealant to the tooth surfaces. It is a liquid resin that hardens quickly to protect enamel. The dentist may apply sealant with a brush or syringe.
Curing the Sealant A unique curing light hardens and attaches sealant to teeth. Light accelerates sealant hardening by activating its ingredients.
Evaluation and Adjustment After the sealant cures, the dentist checks its placement and may make changes to seal the tooth’s pits and fissures.
Final Check The dentist will assess sealant fit and coverage. Add layers if needed. To guarantee sealant performance, the patient may have to bite down.
Post-Application Instructions Patients receive post-application care instructions from the dentist. Avoiding foods and activities that could damage the sealant and keeping proper dental hygiene may be advised.

Benefits of Teeth Sealant

  • Protect dental grooves and pits from bacteria and food particles.
  • Children’s and teens’ permanent molars and premolars are sealed to safeguard them early.
  • Painless and non-invasive. 
  • No tooth drilling or removal is needed.
  • Cheaper than treating cavities and other oral issues.
  • Some people are more prone to cavities due to deep tooth grooves, poor dental care, or diet. They help high-risk patients maintain oral health.
  • Can be done in one dental appointment, making it easy.
  • Unobtrusive and don’t hinder chewing or speech.
  • Can match the tooth colour.

Common Misconceptions of Fissure Sealants

  • They are only for kids: Sealants are used to prevent cavities in children but can also help adults. 
  • They eliminate the need for regular oral hygiene: Sealants provide additional protection, but regular brushing and flossing are still necessary for dental health.
  • They are permanent: Sealants are not permanent but might last years. They should be checked at regular dental checkups to determine if they need touch-ups or reapplications.
  • They are uncomfortable or cause sensitivity: Note that they are applied quickly and painlessly. A sealant material is applied after washing and roughening the tooth surface with an etching solution.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene 

Regular Dental Checkups Your dentist will check, repair, or replace them during routine appointments.
Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects Refrain from biting on solid objects like ice, pens, or candies.
Use Fluoride Mouthwash Consider using fluoride mouthwash, as your dentist recommends to help strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities.
Good Oral Hygiene Practices Keep brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. To remove plaque and clean between teeth, floss every day.
Monitor Sealant Wear and Tear See your dentist immediately if you find chips, cracks, or wear.

Other Preventive Measures

Fluoride Treatment:

  • The mineral fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, increasing its resistance to acid attacks. Applications of fluoride treatments consist of varnishes, rinses, or gels.

Regular Dental Cleanings:

  • Professional cleanings reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease by removing tartar and plaque accumulation. Cleanings also address areas that may be challenging to reach with regular brushing and flossing.

Dietary Modifications:

  • Limiting the consumption of sweetened foods and beverages can significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities. A well-balanced, rich-in-nutrient diet enhances oral health.

Oral Hygiene Practices:

  • Brushing and flossing remain fundamental in preventing cavities and maintaining oral health.

Pit and Fissure Sealants vs. Composite Fillings:

  • Composite fillings involve removing decayed tooth material and filling the space with a tooth-coloured resin.

Orthodontic Appliances:

  • Braces or aligners aim to correct misalignments and improve oral health by enhancing bite function and improving oral hygiene practices. 
teeth sealant

Maple Ridge Dentist For Fissure Sealants

Teeth sealants are necessary for children’s oral health since their developing teeth are especially vulnerable to certain issues. Since kids may not have the best dental hygiene, sealants can protect their teeth from decay. Westgate Dental Centre applies fissure sealants to both children and adults. Our team of dentists in Maple Ridge prioritizes providing excellent dental care. During the procedure, ensuring your comfort and safety remains our top priority.

Frequently Asked Questions

The type, tooth position, and oral hygiene can affect longevity. Teeth sealants last 1–3 years on average.

Sealants are given when molars and premolars emerge, usually between 6 to 14 years old. However, these can be used at any age if teeth are prone to decay.

There are no limitations or specific post-treatment guidelines for applying dental sealants. Patients can promptly resume their regular activities, such as eating and drinking.

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