Sealants are a safe and painless way or protecting your children’s teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from entering the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
The process is usually quick and straightforward taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining an ultraviolet light onto it.
No, it is totally pain free, and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards.
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dentist needs to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay will occur underneath them.
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier, by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay may easily occur in these grooves otherwise.
Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
Most dentists offer fissure sealing. It may be available on the NHS and is not expensive. But in many cases it is available only privately. The cost varies from dentist to dentist, but it is usually a good value.
Yes. It is still vital that they clean their teeth. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal tooth brushing. Using a fluoride toothpaste will also help to protect your children’s teeth. Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings your child might require.
If you would like to know more about the treatment, ask your dentist or hygienist. They will decide whether fissure sealing will help your children’s teeth, and if it is the right time to perform the treatment.