Teaching our children how to brush their teeth properly and regularly is one way to prevent tooth decay. However, because of the way some teeth are formed, it is virtually impossible to thoroughly clean them. Not all teeth have flat surfaces. Some have ridges so deep that not even a single bristle of toothbrush can reach them. These are the favourite hiding places of plaque. In such cases, the best way to protect them is by treating them with fissure sealants.
Sealants are protective plastic coatings applied on the pits, fissures, and grooves of permanent teeth. They form a shield keeping bacteria from getting into the teeth’s minute crevices. The smoother surfaces resulting from the application of the sealants also make cleaning teeth easier.
How it works
The application of fissure sealants is not only a safe and painless procedure, it is also relatively quick. Here’s what to expect:
- The dentist will identify the teeth that need sealing. These are usually the back teeth, the molars and premolars. Some of them have naturally deep grooves that will benefit from fissure sealants.
- Each tooth will be given a thorough cleaning.
- The tooth is then prepared with a mild solution to make it easy for the sealant to stick. It is important to keep the area dry at all times. If the tooth is damp, the sealant might not stick properly.
- The fissure sealant is applied, allowed to set, and cured with a beam of light.
Integral to dental health
The application of fissure sealants is necessary to preserve the integrity of your child’s permanent teeth. As soon as your child starts having permanent teeth, which usually occurs between six and seven years, it is recommended that sealants be applied.
At this time, it is important that you bring your child regularly to the dentist. He or she will be able to identify teeth that need to be sealed as well as check up on those that are already protected. Although sealants last for years, some will need replacement over time.
However, while fissure sealants will help prevent tooth decay, your child must continue practicing proper oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing will remove any food stuck in between teeth.
The best way to keep your teeth, and those of your family, looking great is by regular visits to your local dentist. Gold Coast residents are fortunate in the high standard of dental facilities available to them.