I recently had a friend ask me about dental sealants. His child’s dentist had recommended them, but without having much background, he chose to do a little research before making a decision. When weighing any medical or dental options, it’s always smart to do a little homework and understand the pros, the cons, and any side effects that may be involved. Sealants are simply thin plastic coatings that are applied to particular teeth in an effort to avoid tooth decay. They are typically applied to the chewing surface of molar teeth to keep germs and food particles out of the grooves commonly found there. They are best applied shortly after the eruption of the permanent molars, which is usually around the age of 6 for the first set, and age 12 for the second molars.
Some of the most commonly asked questions about sealants surround the application and potential side effects. When dealing with a child’s mouth, many parents aren’t excited about difficult, long procedures that cause lasting pain or annoyance. Lucky for them, sealants provide neither. There is no drilling involved and the process is easy to complete in a short amount of time. The tooth is first cleaned and prepared before the sealant is painted on. Often, a light is used to help harden the sealant, which takes approximately a minute. They can be clear, white, or slightly tinted and are not normally seen when talking or smiling. Sealants are an alteration to the tooth, so it is very possible that a child will be able to feel the change with their tongue. But, like anything else, they get used to it with time and soon won’t notice that they are there. And because they can last from 5 to 10 years, the process is not necessary to repeat often. Sealants are a painless, quick, and effective method for preventing cavities and tooth decay.
There are many steps involved in creating good oral hygiene habits. Sealants, combined with regular brushing, flossing, healthy food choices, and bi-annual visits to the dentist, are recommended to maintain a healthy mouth, which studies have shown contribute to one’s overall wellness. The professionals at Miami Dental Sedation Spa can assist you with any of your dental needs as well as answer any of your questions regarding recommended practices.
Written by Mark Paulsort
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