The most likely location for a cavity to develop in your child’s mouth is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Run your tongue over this area in your mouth and you will feel that these surfaces are not smooth, as other areas of your teeth are. They are filled with tiny grooves referred to as “pits and fissures,” which trap bacteria and food particles. The bristles on a toothbrush can’t always reach all the way into the crevices. This creates the perfect conditions for tooth decay. What’s more, a child’s newly erupted permanent teeth are not as resistant to decay as adult teeth are. The hard enamel coating that protects the teeth changes as it ages in order to become stronger.
You can think of a sealant as a mini plastic filling. Due to tooth enamel not containing a nerve, placing a sealant is painless and does not routinely require numbing shots.
First, the tooth or teeth to be sealed are examined, and if any minimal decay is found, it will be gently removed. The tooth will then be cleaned and dried. Then a solution that will slightly roughen or “etch” the surface is applied in order to make the sealing material adhere better. The tooth is then rinsed and dried again. The sealant is then painted on the tooth in liquid form and hardens in seconds using a special curing light. That’s all there is to it!
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Healthy Smiles Blog
In addition to regular dental appointments, being armed with knowledge can provide you with all the support you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Explore our posts to arm yourself.
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