If your little one has extensive decay or a damaged tooth, a dental sealant may be the best way to restore their smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rene Alingog and get the help they need.
Dental sealants are protective plastic coatings that seal out cavity-causing food particles, bacteria, and acids. Cavities occur due to enamel erosion when bacteria mix with saliva and form a film of plaque around the gum line.
This bacteria then feeds off of sugars in the mouth and converts them into acids that continually attack your enamel. Over time, this degrades your enamel and forms holes known as cavities. The best way to prevent this is through good oral hygiene.
Brushing and flossing remove bacteria and food particles to avoid these acid attacks. However, thorough and proper brushing is difficult in the rear molars which contain additional pits and grooves compared to the other teeth.
These grooves can trap food particles, causing them to linger in the mouth so that these acid attacks continue to occur and form cavities in your teeth.
By applying a clear plastic coating known as a dental sealant on the first and second permanent molars, we can prevent cavities in these high-risk teeth by sealing out substances that cause cavities and providing a smoother surface to clean the teeth more easily. Contact us at Chula Vista Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.
The application of dental sealants only takes a few minutes.
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The application of dental sealants is simple, painless, fast, and non-invasive. Their application doesn’t involve any needles or anesthetic.
Dental sealants are very effective at preventing cavities in young children. As an effective preventative tool during childhood when kids are more prone to developing cavities, they preserve the health of their teeth and prevent the need for more invasive treatment in response to existing cavities. This will save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Dental sealants can last for up to 10 years and never need to be removed. When it’s time to replace your sealants, a new coating will be applied on top. The entire process is very simple and only takes a few minutes so it’s a convenient way to invest in your child’s oral health.
Dr. Rene will carefully examine your teeth and take digital scans to rule out oral health problems like tooth decay. Any oral health problems need to be treated before we can apply dental sealants.
We will clean the teeth that are receiving sealants to provide a fresh surface for the sealant and to prevent any bacteria or food particles from being trapped underneath the sealant coating.
Roughening the tooth and applying a conditioning liquid helps the bonding agent stick.
After etching the teeth, we will rinse the acidic solution off the teeth and thoroughly dry them.
The plastic coating is painted onto the teeth.
After applying the sealant, we will expose it to UV light to cure it so it hardens.
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Yes, your child can get cavities under the sealant. However, this occurrence is usually uncommon and only happens with poor sealant installation or worn-out sealant. Sealants are clear and you can spot a cavity beneath your child’s sealant immediately. If so, arrange for a prompt dentist visit. The dentist will address the cavity and replace the sealant to protect your child’s teeth from further decay.
Yes, your child can eat right away after getting sealants. However, we recommend waiting a few hours before allowing your child to eat or drink anything. This is enough time for the sealant to completely harden and bond to their teeth. It’ll take about two days for the sealant to completely mold into the teeth’s shape. It’s also important to keep your child from eating any hard, sticky, or chewy food that may scratch or stick to the sealant.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), sealants protect from 80% of cavities for the first two years after application and 50% of cavities for up to 4 years of their installation. However, with proper care, sealants can last on the teeth for more than 10 years. Unlike other dental appliances, sealants don’t require removal, but instead, wear out over time until they completely disappear. You'll need to arrange prompt replacement once your child’s sealant wears out.
Getting dental sealant is a painless, non-invasive procedure that usually doesn’t require sedation. The process involves cleaning the teeth to remove plaque and debris, followed by drying them before applying a mild acid. The acid etches the enamel surface to allow the sealant to adhere better to the tooth’s surface. The dentist then applies the sealant and uses a curing light to harden it to the teeth’s surface.
Dentists recommend sealants for children between the ages of 6 and 14. Children in this age range have fully erupted molars and premolars, however, this varies from one child to the next. Dental sealant is also necessary for children at high risk of developing dental decay. That way, your child can sidestep decay and you can avoid expensive treatments like dental fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions for your child in the future.
Yes, sealants are safe for both children and adults and help protect your child’s teeth, mostly the molars and premolars from decay. It’s normal to be worried about sealants since they’re mostly made from resin and plastic. The latter of which contains endocrine disruptors that have been linked to diseases like cancer and diabetes. Fortunately, the plastic used for sealants is BPA-free and non-toxic, and so are the rest of the materials used for sealants. All materials are also bio-compatible.