How to care for dental sealants?

A sealant is a clear or white coating that covers the deep pits and grooves on the chewing surface of teeth. The Sealants help to keep out plaque and bacteria decreasing the risk of decay. The goal with sealants is to maintain cavity free teeth for a lifetime!  Since the covering is only on the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with a sealant.  Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

sealantsAs with all dental procedures, the longevity of sealants varies with each individual.  The effectiveness of sealants is influenced by bite patterns, teeth grinding, ice or hard candy chewing and bacterial plaque levels.  Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy as this tends to fracture the sealant.  Sealants can also chip or wear out.  The condition of the sealants will be checked at each checkup visit.  Sealants can last up to four years.  The sealants will be checked at regular dental visits, and we will inform you if your child’s teeth need to be resealed. 

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay.  When properly applied and maintained, sealants can protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.  A total prevention program includes regular visits to the pediatric dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar rich foods are eaten.  If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!  Call Anchorage Pediatric Dentistry today at (907)562-1003 to schedule an appointment for your child.

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