Human teeth, particularly those at the back, have deep recesses, or 'fissures', along their biting surfaces. These are often hard to clean with a toothbrush, and one response to that issue is the development of dental sealants. A dentist will place a transparent layer over the fissures, thus protecting them from decay.
People of any age can benefit from dental sealants, but they are seen as especially beneficial for children. Here's why.
1. Children's Teeth Are More Vulnerable to Decay
Baby teeth are generally seen as less in need of dental sealants because they tend to be a lot smoother than adult teeth. However, newly erupted permanent teeth are a different story; they will possess the deeper crevices that can be protected by sealant. What's more, those teeth will be more vulnerable to decay.
It might sound odd, but the hard enamel coating that surrounds your teeth actually gets stronger during its first few years; when first exposed to the acids and bacteria of the mouth, your teeth just aren't as ready to defend themselves. This is one of the most compelling reasons to further protect your child's teeth with dental sealants.
2. Eliminates Problems Caused by Poor Brushing
It's hard to get children excited about brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, kids just aren't great at grasping the fact that brushing today will mean missing out on discomfort later on. This often means that children are less careful to hit all areas when brushing their teeth. That problem is compounded by the fact that children, especially younger ones, don't have fine motor skills that are as developed as they will be in later life.
So young children are usually less willing and less able to get into every nook and cranny when they're brushing their teeth. This makes dental sealants a good idea since they will provide protection for parts of a tooth that would normally be missed during regular brushing.
3. Avoids Unpleasant Dental Episodes
If your child gets a cavity, they will probably need to have a filling. This typically involves an injection of local anaesthetic into the gums, which is often enough to make a child scared of the dentist for life. It only makes sense to take as many steps as possible to avoid having this happen.
Better yet, having sealants applied is a quick, convenient, and painless process. The tooth will need to be dried and prepped, then your child's dentist will paint on the sealant and let it harden. This is all that's involved, and that's a small price to pay for the issues you're going to be avoiding.