Sealants may last for several years but should be checked regularly for normal wear. Sealants can easily be repaired or replaced if lost or worn. As with most dental work, chewing on ice cubes, hard candy or eating sticky foods should be avoided.
Research into the benefit of tooth sealants as we know them now, a plastic coating which is bonded into the grooves of a tooth's enamel, began in the 1950's and 1960's. With the first commercially available tooth sealants were marketed to dentists in the early 1970's.
Sealants are best suited for the first and second permanent molars that erupt around the age of 6 and 12. Although sealants can be applied to other teeth, the greatest prevention success is seen with molars.
The Nature of a Tooth
The top surfaces of your child’s teeth - where the chewing takes place - aren't smooth and flat. They are covered with tiny bumps and valleys called pits and fissures. Pits and fissures are the places where plaque can easily build up and food can get stuck, especially if you aren’t brushing and flossing frequently and properly.
Applying a sealant over the top of the tooth is a great way to prevent cavities from developing in the pits and fissures.
The process is relatively simply and will not cause your child any pain or discomfort.
First we will clean the tooth, this prepares the enamel to bond more effectively with the sealant material.
We then apply a mild acid solution to 'etch' the surface and make it easier for the pit and fissure sealant to stick.
The sealant solution is then applied to the clean, dry tooth surface and it is then set with our curing light.
Finally, we check your child’s bite to ensure that the sealant has been applied properly.
Keeping the area dry and away from your saliva during the application is very important. If the tooth gets wet, the sealant might not stick properly.
Smilebrite Family Dental
Dr. Neil Zastre Inc.
110 - 11971 Third Avenue
(entrance on Chatham Street)
Richmond, BC V7E 3J9
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