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Sealants: What They Are and Why We Might Recommend Them for Your Child

July 30, 2018
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Posted By: Dr. Richard Facko
Girl at Pool | Dental Sealants Palos Heights IL

If you have children, you want to do everything you can to prevent them from developing cavities. To that end, your Palos Heights, IL dentist might recommend sealant treatment. What are sealants? And are they worth it for your child?

Let’s take a look at dental sealants.

What They Are

Essentially, a sealant is a plastic coat that is placed on the surface of the posterior (back) teeth. The sealant provides a buffer between the tooth and tooth decay.

Why They Are Placed

The molars in the back of the mouth have a lot of grooves in them, which are ideal places for bacteria to collect and decay to develop. Sometimes these grooves are quite deep, which can also make them difficult to keep clean—especially for young children, who lack the dexterity to properly reach these areas with a toothbrush. Plaque can easily build up and tooth decay can develop. Sealants help protect the deep grooves in these teeth because they fill in the area.

When They Are Placed

Your dentist will probably recommend sealants as soon as the back molars and premolars erupt above the gum surface. Sometimes they are used on other teeth if there are deep grooves in them that might make them prone to decay.

How They Are Placed

After the tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned and dried, an acidic solution is placed onto the tooth. This will roughen the tooth surface to make it easier for the sealant to adhere to it. When the tooth is dry again, the liquid sealant is applied and cured. Now the tooth has a hard plastic coating to protect it from developing decay.

How Long They Last

In most cases, sealants last a good number of years. The procedure can be repeated if necessary.

Talk to Dr. Richard Facko to Find Out More About Sealants

Protect your child’s teeth from decay with dental sealants in Palos Heights, IL. Call Palos Pediatric dentistry today!

 

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