Do our children benefit from Fissure sealants?
Q. What are fissure sealants?
A. Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting children’s teeth from tooth decay. It is a plastic coating which covers the chewing surfaces of the back
adult teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth. Most tooth decay in children occurs in the back teeth.
Q. How are fissure sealants applied?
A. It is quick and straight forward, taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly and then a special gel is applied to the biting surface of the tooth to prepare the tooth for the sealant. The tooth is then dried with air. The sealant liquid is then applied and set hard using a special light. It is a painless procedure.
Q. How long do they last?
A. They can last for many years and will be checked at each check-up visit. They can wear over time and in this case more sealant can be added or sometimes some sealants will require replacement.
Q. Do children still have to clean their teeth?
A. Yes. Sealants are only one part of a child’s preventative dental care. It is still important that teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. The sealed surfaces will now be easier to clean when toothbrushing.
Fissure sealants are only one way of helping to prevent tooth decay.
Remember also to:
- Brush teeth and gums every morning and night.
- Use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush for 2 minutes (the length of a song).
- Don’t eat a lot of sugary foods and drinks especially between meals. Keep these foods as treats or for special occasions.
- Make sure you visit your dentist twice a year.