Would you like to reduce your children's risk of cavities? Sealants offered by your dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, provide a simple solution.
How sealants prevent tooth decay
Cavities are most likely to occur in the pre-molars and molars at the back of the mouth. These teeth contain grooves and pits that help you bite and chew foods. Unfortunately, the small depressions can trap plaque, a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria. If plaque isn't removed promptly, you may eventually develop tooth decay.
Although brushing gets rid of plaque on most tooth surfaces, toothbrush bristles are too big to reach the tiny pits in molars and pre-molars. Sealants are plastic resin coatings that fill in the pits and grooves, preventing plaque from collecting in them. If plaque can't accumulate, your child won't develop cavities.
Sealants are added to the teeth after your son or daughter's permanent molars and pre-molars appear. These teeth are a little weak after they erupt and are more prone to cavities initially. Fortunately, sealants offer the protection your children need to avoid cavities in their back teeth.
What happens when my child receives sealants?
The sealant process is quick and painless. After your child's teeth are cleaned, the dentist applies an etching solution that helps the sealants adhere to the teeth. The sealant liquid is then applied to the teeth with a small brush. Your dentist uses a curing light to harden the sealants in just a few minutes. After your child leaves the Woodbridge dental office, he or she can eat immediately.
In most cases, sealants last about 10 years. They may wear off sooner if your child grinds or clenches his or her teeth. Fortunately, the sealants can be easily reapplied if that happens.
Are sealants only for children?
Sealants can also help adults avoid tooth decay in their pre-molars and molars. If you're an adult, you'll probably need to pay out-of-pocket for the sealants, as most dental insurance plans impose an age limit for the coatings.
Protect your family's smiles with sealants. Call your dentists in Woodbridge, VA, at Mapledale Family Dentistry at (703) 580-9900 to schedule your appointment.