Following on from our recent article regarding the worrying rise in tooth extractions in children, we would today like to let you know about a step you can take to protect your child’s teeth. Whilst we all seek to develop healthy and sustainable oral health routines in our children, a helping hand is always welcome. Fissure sealants are an easy way that you can help to safeguard your child from the discomfort of tooth decay.
Fissure sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of our back teeth. They are a protective plastic coating that act a bit like a ‘shield’ for our teeth, and aim to prevent tooth decay from occurring. By creating a barrier between the bacteria that we have in our mouths, and the surface of our teeth, bacteria are prevented from getting into, and getting stuck in, the gaps in our teeth. Our teeth are covered with many crinkles and dips (known technically as fissures and pits) which form excellent hiding places for bacteria. Without a shield such as a fissure sealant, it is much easier for these bacteria to take up residence and cause us problems.
Procedurally, the application of fissure sealants is simple. Only a few minutes are required for each tooth. Firstly, the tooth will be cleaned and prepared, using a solution that is specially designed for the purpose. The sealant, in liquid form, is then brushed onto the tooth. A bright light is used to dry each tooth. The procedure is completely painless. On completion, children are unable to notice any difference in the appearance of their teeth, or how they feel.
In thinking about when to speak to your dentist about fissure sealants for your child, we recommend that you wait until your child’s adult teeth are starting to come through. Teeth can be treated individually, so there is no need to wait until all their adult teeth are through before commencing the process. Fissure sealants aren’t just for children either: adults can have the sealant applied to any teeth that they find tricky to keep clean with regular brushing. Speak with one of our dental team and we can review your options and help you put together a plan.
The facts and figures around tooth extraction for children are highly alarming. When thinking about how you can best support your son or daughter, why not consider investigating fissure sealants for them? Get in touch today to have a chat about the options available, or to arrange an appointment to see a dentist. For more information please visit our website.