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Tuesdays with the Team


What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

Dental sealants are a plastic coating placed on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth to protect them from decay. The chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars have pits and grooves (fissures) that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can even be narrower than a single bristle of a toothbrush.

Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid produced by the bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel, which can lead to cavities. The sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends placing sealants on your child’s first permanent molars around age six, and then on second molars around age 12. Sealants have been used and been proven effective since the 1970’s and last for several years under the normal wear and tear of childhood chewing.

The procedure is painless and simple. First the teeth are cleaned and roughened with a solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant material is painted on and hardened using a curing light.

For more information on sealants or any other services offered by Advanced Dentistry by Design, please contact us today!

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