Everyone is subject to tooth decay, but children are more prone than adults, says the American Dental Association (ADA). That's why Dr. Carl Murano, your family dentist, at HFL Dental serving Honeoye Falls and Mendon, NY, offers plastic sealants, thin, resilient coatings which protect deeply grooved teeth from the ravages of bacteria, acids and everyday wear and tear. They're a wonderful investment in your child's smile.
How cavities happen
Tooth decay happens when bacteria-filled plaque and tartar accumulate on tooth surfaces and underneath the gums. These "biofilms" proliferate with carb-laden, sugary diets and poor oral hygiene.
Your family dentist serving Honeoye Falls and Mendon agrees with the American Dental Association's guidelines for preventive care: brushing twice a day with a soft-brush and a fluoride toothpaste (ages three and up), once a day flossing and semi-annual examinations and cleanings at the dental office. These practices pay big dividends of fewer cavities, decreased incidence of gum disease and of course, fresh breath and bright enamel.
Where cavities form
There are several locations where cavities most easily form. They include:
- The chewing surfaces of back molars and premolars (because they have deep grooves or fissures which hold plaque and bacteria)
- The cheek side of teeth near the gum line
Even the most careful of oral hygiene can miss or do an inadequate job in these areas, making them more prone to decay. As such, your family dentist serving Honeoye Falls and Mendon, NY, advises a simple, inexpensive and long-lasting preventive treatment called dental sealants.
How plastic sealants work
Both children and adults may benefit from the application of plastic sealants, painted on coatings which penetrate fissures in tooth surfaces, protecting them from harmful bacteria. When children receive their adult teeth, the dentist inspects them for proper bite and overall condition. If he sees deep grooves, he may advise sealants.
To receive sealants, your child must sit still for about five minutes per tooth. Dr. Murano will show you which teeth need treatment, and then he'll clean, dry and etch each tooth. The etching liquid ensures a secure bond between the plastic sealant and the tooth: this is a critical part of the process.
Then, the dentist carefully will paint on the sealant and harden it with a special blue light. The tooth will look and bite normally but have an insulating barrier which should last up to a year.
Keep your child as cavity-free as possible. Sealants are a wonderful preventive measure which the friendly team at HFL Dental is happy to provide. To schedule cleaning and exam appointments, please call the office at (585) 624-1917.