Dental sealants in Milford, CT, are a highly beneficial preventive treatment for children that help protect their teeth from decay. They are plastic coatings applied to the back teeth, such as the molars and premolars. These teeth can easily trap food particles and bacteria, making them susceptible to cavities.
Dental sealants act as a protective barrier, sealing off these vulnerable areas and preventing the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. Since children may have difficulty properly cleaning these hard-to-reach areas, sealants provide an added defense against tooth decay. Children can benefit from long-term protection by applying dental sealants early, typically around 6, when permanent molars erupt. Sealants are a non-invasive and painless procedure that reduces the risk of cavities in children, promoting their oral health and minimizing the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future.
There are two primary types of dental sealants: resin-based sealants and glass ionomer sealants.
The resin material is liquid at first, allowing it to flow into the deep grooves and fissures of the tooth. Once applied, a special curing light hardens the resin, creating a durable protective layer that seals off these vulnerable areas.
The drying or hardening process of resin-based sealants is relatively quick. After the resin material is applied to the tooth, the dentist or dental hygienist will use the curing light to initiate a chemical reaction within the resin. This reaction causes the resin to harden and bond to the tooth surface.
Once the resin-based sealant is fully cured, which usually takes only a few seconds, it forms a strong protective coating on the tooth. The sealant becomes a smooth, thin layer that covers the pits and fissures, acting as a barrier against plaque, bacteria, and food particles that can lead to cavities.
Glass ionomer sealants are made of glass particles and an acrylic or resin component. These sealants have unique properties that make them beneficial in certain situations.
Glass ionomer sealants create a physical barrier on the tooth’s surface and release fluoride over time. This fluoride release helps to strengthen the tooth enamel. This characteristic makes glass ionomer sealants particularly useful for individuals at higher risk of cavities or those with a history of dental caries.
The setting time for glass ionomer sealants is usually longer than resin-based sealants, typically ranging from 2 to 5 minutes. During this time, the sealant gradually hardens, forming a protective layer on the tooth surface.
While glass ionomer sealants may take slightly longer to dry than resin-based sealants, they offer the added benefit of fluoride release. They, however, do not last as long as the resin-based sealants.
Dental sealants can provide long-lasting protection against tooth decay. On average, they can last for several years before requiring replacement. The lifespan of dental sealants can vary depending on factors such as oral hygiene practices, chewing habits, and the quality of the sealant application. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the condition of the sealants and determine if any touch-ups or replacements are needed.
After getting dental sealants near you, it is crucial to care for them. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is important to care for dental sealants and maximize their longevity.
Avoiding or minimizing the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can also help preserve the integrity of the sealants.
Additionally, it is crucial to avoid habits that can put excessive stress on the sealants, such as chewing on hard objects or using teeth to open packages. Regular dental visits should be scheduled for professional cleanings and examinations. During these visits, the Milford pediatric dentist in, CT, will assess the condition of the sealants and determine if any repairs or replacements are necessary.
Dental sealants are a valuable preventive measure for children, providing extra protection against tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene practices are essential regardless of the type. Visit Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for more information about dental sealants.