Fissure sealants are white coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – areas especially susceptible to cavities.
Did you know…
Depending on a child’s oral development and risk factors for tooth decay, fissure sealants may be applied to the teeth as young as age 6. It is at this time that the first molars typically appear. Additional molars erupt at approximately age 12. If possible, sealants should be applied to a child’s teeth immediately after any tooth with deep grooves erupts to reduce the risk of early decay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Fissure sealants affect the appearance of my child’s teeth?
Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a clear or tooth-coloured coat. This makes them virtually undetectable to others.
What will my child experience when getting sealants?
The process of getting sealants is simple. The teeth are cleaned before the dentist paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden with the help of a curing light, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last several years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the dentist will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.
Will sealants prevent all cavities?
While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush and floss each day using a fluoridated toothpaste. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet low in sugar are also essential for good long-term oral health.