If you are a parent, you probably know how difficult it is to get San Luis Obispo children to brush and floss regularly. On top of that, young children often lack the necessary motor skills to properly care for their teeth. At Michael Colleran, DDS, we want your whole family to have excellent dental health, so here’s some information on how Dr. Colleran can help protect your kids from tooth decay. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.
Kids and Cavities
In the back teeth, there are numerous nooks and crannies that toothbrushes can’t quite get to. Referred to as pits and fissures, these areas on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars are particularly susceptible to tooth decay in children between the ages of 6 and 14. Food can easily get stuck in the tiny grooves and remain for long periods of time, which, combined with bacteria, creates the perfect environment for tooth decay and cavities.
How Dental Sealants Can Help
Dental sealants are thin coatings of plastic applied directly to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. By covering areas where pit and fissure cavities are likely to form, dental sealants effectively seal out tooth decay and prevent cavities in these areas. Dental sealants are an excellent boost for dental health. Dr. Colleran recommends that San Luis Obispo children get sealants as soon as their first and second sets of permanent molars come in (usually at 6 and 12 years of age, respectively).
The process is quick and painless:
- The first step involves cleaning and drying the teeth that are to be sealed.
- Next, an acid solution is used to roughen the tooth surface and promote the sealant’s adhesion, followed by a rinse and drying.
- Finally, the sealant is painted directly onto the enamel (outer layer of the teeth) and allowed to dry and harden. A curing light may be used to help speed up the process.
Although sealants are most commonly used for children, they can also benefit adults who are cavity-prone. Contact Michael Colleran, DDS to find out how dental sealants can protect your family’s smiles!