What are Fissure Sealants and why should my child have them?

Some great information about Fissure Sealants from one of our wonderful Oral Health Therapist – Chandra Setiawan.

 

What they are and how they will help the health of your child’s teeth!

When children are learning how to clean their teeth, there are often areas that get missed such as the back teeth (molars). The molars have natural grooves where food and bacteria can get stuck into and can, overtime, cause tooth decay. One of our preventive strategies is Fissure Sealant.

 

So What is a Fissure Sealant?

Dental sealants are thin coatings placed over the grooves or pits and fissures of back teeth to help form a protective layer. It stops the food from getting in the tiny grooves in the teeth and thereby, reduces the risk of tooth decay.

 

How are the sealants applied?

The first step that your dentist or oral health therapist will do is removing all the food and plaque from the grooves. This process is quick and rarely, if ever, causes any discomfort. Then, the tooth is conditioned, washed and dried before the sealant is applied. A blue light will be used to set the material.

 

Are Fissure Sealants the same as Fillings?

No. Fillings are used to restore teeth to their normal shape, appearance and function. This is achieved by filling in cavities caused by tooth decay. Fissure sealants are preventative treatments for tooth decay, filling in the natural grooves in the back (molar) teeth. Fissure sealants and fillings use similar materials, including resins or glass ionomer, but with different consistencies.

 

How long will a Fissure Sealant last for?

Sealants are durable and can stand up to daily chewing forces for months or even years. Of course, everyone is different, and the protective coating may wear down at different rates in different people. Having regular dental check ups is the best way to ensure that your sealants are in good condition.

 

Are Fissure Sealants necessary for my child?

Fissure Sealants are a treatment option but are not necessary for every child. Your Dentist or Oral Health Therapist will discuss with you if they think the treatment would benefit your child.

Sealants are valuable in protecting the chewing surfaces of molars, but regular brushing, flossing and good diet is needed to prevent tooth decay. Preventing tooth decay—in the primary, or “baby,” teeth as well as in the permanent ones that we carry into adulthood—is important to your health.

 

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