Dental sealants are being used more aggressively as a necessary part of preventative dentistry. Most cavities are caused by deep pits and fissures, which can affect not only adults but also children. Because the younger generation is the ones most often affected by overwhelming decay, dental sealants are advised for those under 16.
What Are Pits and Fissures?
The tooth’s enamel softens over time by the foods that are eaten. Acidic foods can wear down the enamel. Worn enamel forms pits. When food and bacteria become trapped into these pits, a cavity will form. A toothbrush can’t always reach and clean all the bacteria and food particles away.
Cosmetic dentists have tried many things to stop the rapid tooth decay in the younger generation. The best way to stop it is through the use of dental sealants. Because children’s teeth are so susceptible, they don’t receive the same remuneration from fluoride that adults do. Most toothpastes and even the water systems put fluoride treatments in them; however, this doesn’t help everyone.
Sealants are plastic films that go over the teeth. It’s a rather new approach that is specifically there to help children, but there is no age limit on who can be helped. The films are applied right to the enamel on the teeth and they prevent or seal the pits and fissures.
For cavity prevention, these sealants are very effective. Nearly any cosmetic dentist can do this procedure. The numbers show that those who have had sealants put on their teeth show a reduction in cavities over those who haven’t received the treatment. For those who think that perhaps their child doesn’t need these treatments or it is unnecessary; statistics show that most children lose up to ten teeth by the time they are 16.
It is easier to prevent a problem than to treat it. As far as sealants are concerned, there are three types readily available on the market. The most commonly used sealant uses a blue light to turn the plastic into a hard coating. Some might fear that there is risk involved with using this procedure. However, the cosmetic dentist will first remove all the plaque and then etch any groves with a mild acid solution to ensure they are clean. This will also ensure that no bacterium is trapped beneath the sealant.
Though some may not like the extra expense, preventative dentistry is much more cost effective than a root canal or crown at a later date.