There are places where you want fissures and crevasses — maybe on a trip to the glaciers on Mont Blanc, for instance. But you don’t want them in your teeth, especially if you’re a kid in the midst of your cavity-prone years. Unfortunately, some of us simply have deep fissures in our molars, courtesy of our parents and their genes. The problem is that no amount of diligent home brushing and flossing can get down into those deep creases. That means food particles and bacteria stay down in the creases, and that combination will eventually lead to decay.
Fortunately, Dr. Steier comes to the rescue with dental sealants. Sealants effectively fill in these fissures in the molars, particularly those of our young patients, and protect against the development of decay and cavities.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. Applied as a liquid, the sealant settles down into the deep grooves in the molars. Dr. Steier cures the sealant with a special light, and it instantly hardens, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.
Who should get sealants?
Dr. Steier (and the American Dental Association) recommends that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and decay and are without fillings.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is simple.
- First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond.
- This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
- The sealant is painted onto the tooth, and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during those years when the teeth are developing and are the most prone to developing decay.
Let’s talk about applying sealants to your child’s teeth. Call us at 561-395-3190 to make your appointment.