Dental Sealants for kids
Help your child fight tooth decay with Dental Sealants!
Do you know that Dental Sealants can help your child to fight tooth decay?
Take advantage of this cavity-fighting dental technique at Molonglo Dental Surgery. Book an appointment with our friendly dental team today on 02 6287 1222.
In addition to daily cleaning routines like brushing and flossing, twice-yearly visits to a dentist can help your children keep dental caries at bay. At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we want to give you and your little ones access to all the modern preventive tools available in the fight against dental decay. One of the most important new cavity-fighting techniques we use is that of Dental Sealants.
Also known as Fissure Sealants, Dental Sealants are typically recommended to children around the age of 12 after all their permanent teeth have arrived. We offer a choice between white, tinted and clear*. At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we will conduct an oral exam to assess your child’s suitability before we prescribe fissure sealants.
* Note: All the different shades are virtually impossible to detect in the mouth.
Is your child enjoying all the preventative benefits of Dental Sealants? Book an appointment with our friendly dental team today on 02 6287 1222.
What are Fissure Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to teeth as protection against tooth decay. Generally speaking, a sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces – also known as pits and fissures – of a tooth, to keep germs and food debris out of the grooves.
The fissure sealant is easily applied and is a very common tooth sealing procedure for children in Canberra. That’s because dental fissure in kids are a common problem that can lead to dental cavities. Dentists regularly prescribe sealants for children to help them fight cavities and as a long-term protection against early dental problems.
The tooth fissure sealant does not require any removal of tooth structure or involve any drilling. Dental sealants are virtually invisible and do not in any way impair the aesthetics of the smile. It is invisible, meaning it cannot be seen when a child talks or smiles. It is important to note that dental sealants do not disrupt the balance in the oral cavity or affect the other teeth in your child’s mouth.
Dental sealants are very thin and generally go unnoticed. Although some people may be may be able to feel the sealant with their tongue, it should not otherwise cause any pain or discomfort. Some patients may be able to feel the sealant with their tongue, they are actually very thin and generally go unnoticed.
Sealants for children provide a long-lasting preventative treatment that provides between 5-10 years of protection against tooth decay.
At Molonglo Dental Surgery, our kid-friendly Canberra dentists will also monitor the condition of dental sealants at your regularly scheduled appointments.
For all its benefits, it is very important to remember that the fissure sealant does not replace regular oral health habits.
Besides bringing your child to see your Canberra dentist at least twice a year for an oral exam and professional cleaning, maintaining regular brushing and flossing are critical aspects of maintaining your child’s dental health.
Dental sealants provide an extra layer of protection when it comes to tooth decay. During your child’s regular check-up, you may request for your Canberra dentist to utilise fluoride treatment in addition to fissure sealant to help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants make a great preventative measure to maintain the strength, quality, and health of your natural teeth.
Why are grooves and fissures in your child’s teeth dangerous?
The mouth is home to millions of bacteria that can cause decay. Most of us have molars (back teeth) that are grooved and fissured – also known as pits and fissures. Many surveys on childhood dentistry show that a high percentage of the tooth decay encountered in school-aged children has to do with these pits and fissures.
Fissures are the grooves that can be found on all biting surfaces of teeth. A pit is a small depression on the surface of the tooth. Most of the time, the teeth that have the most grooves are located at the back of the mouth (the premolars and molars) – although the front teeth are also known to have pits and fissures.
The reason why your Canberra dentist is concerned about pits and fissures on the surface of your child’s tooth is because these tiny grooves and depressions are very good at hiding dental plaque and calculus, which contain bacteria.
Food debris can get trapped inside the tooth fissure making it difficult to remove by regular cleaning. Left unremoved, these tiny morsels of food actually provide fuel for the bacteria that attack the protective layer of the teeth known as the enamel, before eating and worming their way through into the softer inner pulp.
It does not help that this area of plaque and calculus is notoriously difficult to clean. The bristles on your regular toothbrush are unable to reach the deepest pockets of these grooves.
If the grooves aren’t properly cleaned, decay will begin to develop, first on the tooth’s surface then in the grooves, causing a cavity that in most cases would require a dental filling.
Even if your child maintains a regular brushing and flossing regime, it isn’t possible to thoroughly remove all food debris from all surfaces, especially where there are pits and fissures.
When the trapped food feeds the bacteria, the waste material also demineralises the tooth. Since some grooves have areas of thinner enamel coverage, this hastens the tooth decay process as the bacteria have far less enamel to eat through.
If the decay were to start in a groove or tooth fissure area, it takes a shorter period for it to become a toothache, often escaping detection until it’s too late. That is another reason for making regular visits to the dentist for twice-yearly checks.
Why Fissure Sealants are important to protect your child’s teeth
Fissure sealants are a preventative measure that dentists use to help prevent cavities. Although they are generally recommended for children as soon as their permanent molars erupt, they also benefit adults as an added layer of fissure sealing teeth protection for their matured pearlies. For the kids, it is best to protect their teeth as soon as they come in so that they stay in peak condition.
The dental sealant is a resin-like substance which coats the surface of a tooth or teeth. When hardened, it forms a protective barrier sealing and provides a smoother surface for the child’s tooth – especially those molars located in the back of their mouths.
As the dentist has filled up those pits and fissures, it will prevent bacteria from entering and seeping deep into the grooves. As a result, less “bad’ bacteria will be present on the tooth.
Studies have shown that teeth with fissure sealants are 22 times less likely to develop decay than those that have not been filled. Pits and fissures that have been sealed are also easier to clean during brushing and flossing.
Commonly used in Canberra dentist clinics, the dental fissure sealant features a high stain resistant coating that can withstand chewing pressures and still be effective for up to five years or more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is your child eligible to claim CDBS benefits for Fissure Sealant treatment? Call our team to enquire further.
For more information on Fissure Sealants, call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.