Where does most tooth decay occur? In children's teeth, it happens on the intricate chewing surfaces of back teeth. At Hockaday & Baucom, DDS in Charlotte, NC, your family dentists use plastic sealants to protect young smiles. Dr. Susan Hockaday and Dr. Jim Baucom see the value in these thin coatings; they really help ward off decay.
A chronic health problem
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that tooth decay is the most common chronic health problem in children. Caused by oral bacteria living in food residues, or plaque, on and between teeth, cavities destroy enamel and when untreated, lead to tooth loss.
A low-sugar diet, good brushing and flossing habits and six-month check-ups at the family dentist's office in Charlotte, NC, minimize the risk of decay. Dr. Hockaday and Dr. Baucom offer additional protection through thin plastic coatings called dental sealants. The American Dental Association (ADA) says dental sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay on back teeth by a full 80 percent.
How sealants work
After a careful oral examination and hygienic cleaning, your family dentist may recommend sealants for one of more of your child's molars. The process is simple and painless, taking only 10 minutes or so per tooth.
The dentist dries the tooth and applies a mild etching solution to the chewing surface. This preparation ensures the liquid sealant adheres well to the tooth. Then, the plastic sealant is painted on, with care taken to the tiny pits and fissures common to molars. Finally, a special UV light hardens the plastic.
Dental sealants are tooth-colored and virtually unnoticeable. However, they are very effective and long-lasting, staying in place about 10 years. At each oral examination thereafter, Dr. Hockaday or Dr. Baucom will check the sealants to look for any chips or excessive wear. Small repairs can be made if needed.
A stable physical barrier against decay
Dental sealants are the extra-protection your child may need to stay cavity-free on those all important molars. At your next routine visit at Hockaday & Baucom, DDS in Charlotte, NC, ask your family dentist about plastic sealants for your child. Phone for an appointment at (704) 553-2348.