Posts for tag: sealants
Your child could hit a speed bump on their road to dental maturity—tooth decay. In fact, children are susceptible to an aggressive form of decay known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC) that can lead to tooth loss and possible bite issues for other teeth.
But dentists have a few weapons in their arsenal for helping children avoid tooth decay. One of these used for many years now is the application of sealants to the biting surfaces of both primary and permanent teeth. Now, two major research studies have produced evidence that sealant applications help reduce children's tooth decay.
Applying sealant is a quick and painless procedure that doesn't require drilling or anesthesia. A dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form to the nooks and crannies of a tooth's biting surfaces, which tend to accumulate decay-causing bacterial plaque. They then use a curing light to harden the sealant.
The studies previously mentioned that involved thousands of patients over a number of years, found that pediatric patients without dental sealants were more than three times likely to get cavities compared to those who had sealants applied to their teeth. The studies also found the beneficial effect of a sealant could last four years or more after its application.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend sealants for children, especially those at high risk for decay. It's common practice now for children to first get sealants when their first permanent molars erupt (teeth that are highly susceptible to decay), usually between the ages of 5 and 7, and then later as additional molars come in.
There is a modest cost for sealant applications, but far less than the potential costs for decay treatment and later bite issues. Having your child undergo sealant treatment is a worthwhile investment: It could prevent decay and tooth loss in the near-term, and also help your child avoid more extensive dental problems in the future.
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.
Would you like to reduce your child's risk of developing cavities? Consider a trip to the dentist's office for sealants. Charlotte, NC, family dentists Dr. Susan Hockaday and Dr. Jim Baucom of Hockaday & Baucom, DDS explain how sealants can help your child avoid painful tooth decay.
What are sealants?
Sealants are plastic resin coatings that prevent cavities. The liquid sealant solution fills in small pits in the chewing surface of teeth. Although sealants are applied in liquid form, they harden in seconds, offering excellent protection against cavities.
How do sealants help reduce tooth decay?
The pre-molars and molars located at the back of your child's mouth are responsible for chewing. The uneven surface of these teeth makes it easier to grind up food before it's swallowed. Unfortunately, many of the pits that make chewing easier are so small that toothbrush bristles can't reach them. If plaque and bacteria can't be easily removed from those areas, your child may develop a cavity. When your son or daughter receives sealants, the liquid fills in and seals the pits, which prevents tooth decay.
Why do children need sealants?
Sealants are generally recommended after your child's secondary teeth emerge. These teeth grow in after your son or daughter loses baby teeth and are more susceptible to tooth decay when they first grow in. Adding sealants gives your child the extra protection they need to avoid cavities.
How often are sealants applied?
Sealants usually last about 10 years, but your children may need their sealants replaced sooner if they grind their teeth. Drs. Hockaday and Baucom will take a look at the sealants every time your child visits their Charlotte office and recommend reapplication of sealants if they've begun to wear away.
How are sealants applied?
Before your child receives sealants, an etching solution that helps the sealants adhere will be applied to the teeth. The sealants are then brushed on to the teeth and hardened with a curing light. The entire process only takes a few minutes and is completely pain-free.
Protect your child from tooth decay with sealants. Call Charlotte, NC, family dentists Dr. Susan Hockaday and Dr. Jim Baucom of Hockaday & Baucom, DDS at (704) 553-2348 to schedule your child's appointment.
As the youngest person ever to host Entertainment Tonight, Maria Menounos, an independent filmmaker, actress, and co-host of daily entertainment news program Extra, has made a huge splash in the world of entertainment journalism. However, she is also an avid ambassador for the American Diabetes Association, a cause that is very dear to her heart because her father is a diabetic.
Her father's illness taught Menounos and her family about the importance of maintaining good general and dental health. This included a diet packed with fruits and vegetables, many of which they raised themselves. According to Menounos, they also ate little-to-no junk food. These habits still help keep the busy celebrity journalist fit and smiling with beautiful, healthy teeth.
Speaking of her smile, Menounos openly discusses her oral health in her interview with Dear Doctor magazine. She has had no major dental enhancements — not even braces — but does occasionally brighten her smile with tooth whitening. She also feels that her teeth are healthy due to the sealants she had as a child.
We could not agree more with Maria! Sealants for the tiny grooves in teeth known as “pits and fissures” are something that every parent or caregiver should consider for their children. The enamel of newly erupted teeth is more permeable, meaning that the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth can damage these teeth more easily, making them more susceptible and less resistant to decay. The good news is that dental sealants help protect teeth until the enamel has matured. Because of sealants — along with fluoride, good hygiene, and better nutrition (including less sugar consumption), tooth decay has been dramatically reduced.
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination. During this private consultation, we will also discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you or your children. However, to learn more about dental sealants now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children.” And to read the entire interview with Maria Menounos, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Maria Menounos.”