San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
As a parent or guardian, you already value the importance of your child’s health. For some reason, though, many people tend to forget about the importance of oral hygiene and protecting their child’s teeth from decay. Believe it or not, but tooth decay is the number one disease affecting children in our country, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This may come as a surprise, but tooth decay is preventable, and sealants can help.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth. These areas are difficult to keep clean and can harbor bacteria that cause cavities. This is due to the fact that the tops of molars have deep pits and fissures or grooves. By sealing off these deep grooves, it eliminates the possibility of a child getting cavities in these cavity-prone areas. Keep in mind, however, that sealants are not a replacement for good oral hygiene. Your child should still brush his or her teeth twice a day, and floss once daily.
Who needs sealants?
Usually, children and teens benefit the most from sealants. Applying this protective coating during the younger years means the child’s teeth are less likely to be tainted by harmful bacteria. Sealants are typically applied only to permanent molars and premolars. However, there are some cases in which your pediatric dentist in San Francisco may recommend sealants for your child’s baby teeth.
Preventing tooth decay at such an early age also helps maintain good oral health throughout life. Without sealants, your child is at a much higher risk of developing tooth decay early in life. Taking care of your child’s teeth when they are young is most crucial. You can help protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay by simply asking your Bay Area dentist about sealants.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is a simply, pain-free process that occurs right after your child has his or her teeth cleaned by one of our dental hygienists. Then, to prepare the tooth, it is thoroughly dried, and an etching solution is painted over each tooth being treated. The purpose of this solution is to help the sealant material bond to the tooth better. Then, that solution is rinsed off, and the tooth is dried again. The final step is the placement of the actual dental sealant, which is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. It takes just a minute for the material to dry, and that is it! It is best to refrain from eating or drinking for at least 20 minutes. Your child’s sealants should last upwards of 10 years or more but should be inspected during each six-month cleaning.
Dental Sealants in San Francisco
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants or other ways to protect your child’s oral health, call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation. We welcome patients of all ages from Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.