Sealants: A Preventive Measure Worth Considering
Most parents tend to think that the development of cavities or caries in the oral cavities of young children is inevitable – but with the help of a small, non-invasive and painless dental intervention, tooth decay can easily be prevented even in the primary dentition.
Dentists encourage parents to bring their children in for routinely checkups from as early as 6 months of age. There are two main reasons behind this: A: Early exposure is vital for familiarizing the child with the dental setting and the dental team. This eliminates the child’s fear or anxiety and helps him/her gain comfort even in the clinic. B: Allows the dentist to monitor every change in the oral cavity, from tooth eruptions, to development of carious lesions, presence of cysts, alignment issues or problems associated with jaw rotations. Every single dental problem has better prognosis when it is detected and diagnosed at an early stage.
Molars, or the posterior-most teeth of the upper and lower jaws are most susceptible to caries owing to their positioning in the oral cavity, and their natural morphology. Children that have random eating patterns and are unable to maintain proper oral hygiene are most likely to develop cavities in these teeth. However, the application of Fissure Sealants can prevent decay and protect the natural tooth structure for years at a stretch. The procedure is 100% painless and non-invasive – it involves the application of a fine layer of resin based filling material on to the occlusal/biting surface of the molars. This layer is then set or hardened with the help of a curing light. The hardened resin thus creates a protective shield against decay-causing bacteria and prevents the development of cavities.
Fissure sealants are generally meant for young children, but some dentists also use the technique on older patients who are unable to maintain ideal oral hygiene. It must be noted however, that fissure sealants are temporary, and if needed, can be re-applied and cured on the same teeth.
Learn more about how you can maintain excellent oral hygiene at home to combat decay and infection causing bacteria – visit Jeanne Taylor DDS today!