Dr. Kumar and his staff do their best to build positive experiences that children will take with them into adulthood. This is one of our main objectives for our younger patients.
As with adults, a thorough exam and regular check-ups is imperative in maintaining good oral health. As part of our preventive regimen, we are advocates of sealants.
WHAT ARE SEALANTS?
A sealant is a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. This new, smooth surface acts like a repellant to tiny bacteria and food particles, keeping cavities from forming and stopping even the early stages of decay.
Premolar and molar teeth have deep grooves called pits and fissures, which make them especially vulnerable to decay. These uneven and rough grooves just so happen to be a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide. Still, sealants are a safety net to help keep those teeth healthy.
ARE SEALANTS FOREVER?
Good oral hygiene helps remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrushes can't reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract all food and plaque. While fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants add extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas.
It is important to note that even someone with a immaculate dental hygiene can be at risk for cavities. Certain people are simply more prone to dental caries due to the shape and structure of their teeth – unfortunately, genetics is not always on our side!
Unfortunately, NO! Sealants are not a “set it and forget it” solution. Sealants are not a permanent fixture of the tooth its placed on, and over time may begin to chip. The sealant may form porosities allowing bacteria to “leak” and potentially cause decay. As these sealants fall apart at the edges, it is typically a matter of when we want to address the issue and repair/replace these sealants with new fillings. Another reminder of the importance of regular check-ups!