As we bring up our children, we’re full of hopes and wishes about what their future will be like. We also have worries about things they might experience, or potential difficulties that might lie ahead for them. In terms of oral health, you might be concerned about whether they’ll have healthy teeth in the future. Will they maintain a healthy smile through adulthood? Or might they need fillings and remedial work as time goes on? Of course, instilling healthy oral hygiene routines at a young age is key: teaching good brushing techniques and ensuring sound habits are formed. However, you can further support your child’s oral health for the future by considering the application of fissure sealants.
The protective plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of our back teeth is known as a fissure sealant. It works to prevent fillings by creating what could be described as a ‘shield’ between the bacteria that we all have in our mouths, and the crinkles and dips that our molars and premolars are covered with. These crinkles and dips, which are technically known as fissures and pits are found in everyone’s mouths. For some people, they can become very deep. They are excellent hiding places for bacteria, which can lead to the tooth decay that causes the need for fillings. By putting this ‘shield’ in place in the form of a fissure sealant, bacteria are prevented from getting into the gaps. Therefore, the likelihood of fillings being needed later on is dramatically reduced.
You may be wondering exactly what this entails for your child. It’s very straight forward. Each tooth takes just a few minutes to treat: it will be cleaned and prepared with a special solution. The liquid sealant is then brushed on and dried with a bright light. Your child will experience no pain from the procedure, and will walk out of the surgery unable to notice any difference in how their teeth feel or look.
The best time to start thinking about fissure sealants is when your child’s adult teeth are starting to come through. As teeth can be sealed individually, treatment may be a process that takes place over a number of years, as you wait for those final adult teeth to come through. And it’s not just children that can have fissure sealants either. If, as an adult, you’re experiencing problems cleaning particular teeth properly, you may consider having those teeth sealed. Have a chat with one of our dental team and we can create a plan with you.
When thinking about planning ahead for your child’s future, there are many factors you’ll be considering. Fissure sealants are a great way to have peace of mind over parts of their oral health. Give us a call today to discuss your options, we’ll be very happy to talk you through how they work in more detail.