Dentists are very interested in helping people prevent cavities and other dental problems. Children, and some others, often have not yet developed good oral care habits and they sometimes need additional help to protect their teeth. Dental sealant scan provide the extra care needed to help prevent cavities.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities are an ongoing potential problem. They are caused by bacteria that are normally found in the mouth. When sugar is consumed, these bacteria (there are more than 500 types) will produce acid, which is the cause of cavities.
Dental plaque is constantly forming on the teeth. It is the bacteria in the mouth accumulating on the teeth. If not removed regularly with a toothbrush, it will form tartar before long. The tartar will then become a hiding place for the harmful bacteria because it cannot be removed with a toothbrush.
These same bacteria will eventually cause gum disease if the tartar is not removed. While it is mild at first (gingivitis), it can become periodontitis – which is destructive and can lead to the loss of teeth and bone.
Protection for the Teeth
A dentist can help prevent cavities by applying dental sealants. Children who are between the ages of 6 to 14 are the most prone to getting cavities. The dentist can seal the teeth, usually, only the premolars and molars, to prevent tooth decay.
A sealant is a plastic compound that is brushed on to the tops of the teeth. The larger teeth have grooves in them that may make it difficult for a child to keep clean. This additive simply forms a layer over the teeth which will stop the bacteria from interacting with the teeth in the grooves.
The protective layer can only be applied to healthy teeth. If done otherwise, the sealant will simply seal some bacteria against the tooth, which will not prevent a cavity.
Before applying the protective acrylic to the tooth, the dentist will apply an acid solution to the tooth to rough up the surface. This will enable the sealant to adhere to the tooth better. The tooth will then be dried and the layer will be applied with a brush.
Research has shown that adding a protective layer – a sealant – to the teeth of children can help to prevent cavities for some time. For two years it will prevent about 80 percent of cavities, and in the next two years, it will prevent about half of them.
It is possible that the acrylic layer could offer protection for up to nine years. Because the layer does wear, it will need to be checked by a dentist at regular dental checkups to ensure that it is still in place and able to prevent cavities.
If you live in Brooklyn, NY, or Queens, NY, you can have sealants added to your own or to your children’s teeth at Bright White Dental. Our dentists are children friendly. We provide preventive dentistry to help you and your children’s teeth and smile stay beautiful.