Pit & Fissure Sealants
Children’s diets consist of many foods and drinks which can encourage tooth decay.
This tooth decay can be reduced by cutting down on sugary foods and drinks and by daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and fluoride supplements as directed by your dentist.
These preventative methods alone cannot always guarantee to stop the decay entirely.
The chewing surfaces of the back teeth contain pits and fissures which are so narrow and deep that even a toothbrush bristle is too big to clean it thoroughly.
WHAT ARE PITS AND FISSURES?
They are the small grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and pre-molars).
When we eat, small particles of food and bacteria enter into these grooves. If not cleaned out effectively they become lodged in them and can eventually cause decay.
To help prevent this, the (grooves) pits and fissures can be sealed.
WHAT IS A PIT AND FISSURE SEALANT?
The sealant is a clear/white coating which is painted onto the tooth surface to form a protective coating whereby preventing the small food particles from entering and becoming lodged into these grooves.
HOW IS IT APPLIED AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The back teeth would be prepared using a gel and rinsed so it will form a strong bond with the tooth and penetrate down into the fissure. The sealant is then applied carefully into the grooves and set.
The procedure takes approximately a couple minutes for each tooth from start to finish, and is incredibly simple and pain free so it is easily tolerable by children.
AT WHAT AGE CAN A SEALANT BE APPLIED?
Ideally for the most protection the sealant should be applied to each of the child’s adult back teeth as they come through, roughly around the age of 6 till adolescence. Teeth can be sealed individually or all at the same time.
ARE THEY PERMANENT?
Occasionally the sealant may need to be reapplied, but once the child has reached adulthood no further application is necessary.
Having this treatment does not mean that children can then become relaxed about brushing their teeth or eat whatever they like.
It is essential to have good oral hygiene to maintain a healthy teeth and a lovely smile, and after the sealants the teeth will be easier to clean.