Posts for tag: sealants
Dental sealants from your dentists in Columbus, GA, can keep your child’s smile healthy
Did you know that brushing and flossing may not be enough to keep away tooth decay? It’s true! In fact, many cavities begin in the deep grooves and crevices that are a part of the normal tooth anatomy. Fortunately, your dentist has an effective weapon to fight tooth decay. It’s called a dental sealant, and it can protect you or your child’s smile.
Here at the Columbus, GA, office of dentists Dr. Phillip S. Tully III and Dr. W. Newton Sharp, we offer a wide range of dental services for people of all ages, including dental sealants to keep your child’s smile healthy and free of tooth decay—read on to learn more!
What sealants can do to keep your child healthy
Regular brushing and flossing can do a lot to prevent tooth decay, but that won’t completely help protect the deep grooves and crevices in your child’s teeth. After all, these spots are perfect for bacteria and food debris to collect in. If left undisturbed, an acid is produced that eats away at tooth enamel, causing the formation of cavities. Dental sealants fill up the deep grooves and crevices, providing a hard, smooth surface that bacteria and food debris can’t penetrate.
Parents and children alike love dental sealants because they are:
- Effective, because they dramatically reduce the possibility of tooth decay
- Pain-free, because the sealant procedure requires no anesthetic
- Quick, because each tooth takes only a few minutes
- Inexpensive, because dental sealants cost only a fraction of the price of dental fillings
The right time for your child to have dental sealants placed is when the permanent molars fully erupt. For most children, the first permanent molars should be sealed when your child is between the ages of 5 and 7. The second molars should be sealed when your child is between the ages of 11 and 14. Dental sealants are also a great option for adults looking to protect their smiles from cavities and decay.
To learn more about the dental sealant process and how it can protect you or your child’s teeth, call Dr. Phillip S. Tully III and Dr. W. Newton Sharp in Columbus, GA, today by dialing (706) 323-6491.
Although adults are more prone to dental disease, children aren't immune from one particular infection, tooth decay. Some children, in fact, are at higher risk for an aggressive form called early childhood caries (ECC).
There are a number of things you can do to help your child avoid this destructive disease, especially daily brushing and flossing to remove bacterial dental plaque, the underlying cause for tooth decay. It's also important for your child to see a dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and checkups.
But some of their teeth, particularly the back molars, may need some extra attention to fully protect them against decay. This is because larger teeth like molars have numerous pits and crevices along their biting surfaces that can accumulate dental plaque difficult to remove by brushing alone. The added plaque increases the presence of bacteria around the tooth, which increases the risk of decay.
To minimize this possibility, dentists can apply a dental sealant to "smooth out" those pits and crevices in the molars and make it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. This is a quick and painless procedure in which a dentist brushes a liquid plastic resin or similar material onto the teeth's biting surfaces. They then apply a curing light to harden it into a durable coating.
About one-third of children—mostly those considered at higher risk for tooth decay—have undergone sealant treatment. But the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend this preventive measure for all children between ages 5 and 7, and then later between 11 and 14 when additional molars come in. Although there is a moderate cost per tooth for sealant application, it's much less than the potential expense of treating an infected tooth.
Combined with daily oral hygiene and other preventive measures, sealants can reduce the chances of damaging tooth decay. Keeping your child's teeth healthy is an important part in maintaining their dental health today—and tomorrow.
Teeth lost to tooth decay can have devastating consequences for a child’s dental health. Not only can it disrupt their current nutrition, speech and social interaction, it can also skew their oral development for years to come.
Fortunately, we have a number of preventive tools to curb decay in young children. One of the most important of these, dental sealants, has been around for decades. We apply these resin or glass-like material coatings to the pits and crevices of teeth (especially molars) to help prevent the buildup of bacterial plaque in areas where bacteria tend to thrive.
Applying sealants is a simple and pain-free process. We first brush the coating in liquid form onto the teeth’s surface areas we wish to protect. We then use a special curing light to harden the sealant and create a durable seal.
So how effective are sealants in preventing tooth decay? Two studies in recent years reviewing dental care results from thousands of patients concluded sealants could effectively reduce cavities even four years after their application. Children who didn’t receive sealants had cavities at least three times the rate of those who did.
Sealant applications, of course, have some expense attached to them. However, it’s far less than the cost for cavity filling and other treatments for decay, not to mention future treatment costs resulting from previous decay. What’s more important, though, is the beneficial impact sealants can have a child’s dental health now and on into adulthood. That’s why sealants are recommended by both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
And while sealants are effective, they’re only one part of a comprehensive strategy to promote your child’s optimum dental health. Daily brushing and flossing, a “tooth-friendly” diet and regular dental cleanings and checkups are also necessary in helping to keep your child’s teeth healthy and free of tooth decay.