As your child is losing baby teeth and permanent teeth come in to replace them, it is important to keep their teeth and gums healthy. The gums provide protection and support for their teeth. Dr. de los Reyes or Dr. Niver can check your child's mouth to ensure that they have good healthy gums that support their teeth!
A complete preventive dental program includes routine check-ups and cleanings, fluoride, sealants, twice-daily brushing (see the Brush Up on Healthy Teeth tip sheet, by clicking this link), and wise food choices.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Which teeth are suitable for sealants?
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental hygienist also may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.
Are sealants visible?
Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted, and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles.
Will sealants make teeth feel different?
As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth.
How long will sealants last?
A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked at your regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.
Will sealants replace fluoride for cavity protection?
No. Fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and community water supplies help to prevent decay in a different way. Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.
Why is sealing a tooth better than waiting for decay and filling the cavity?
Decay damages teeth permanently. Sealants protect them. Sealants can save time, money, and the discomfort sometimes associated with dental fillings. Fillings are not permanent. Each time a tooth is filled, more drilling is done and the tooth becomes a little weaker.
Why Is it Important to Care for Baby Teeth?
While it's true that primary teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role in the following ways:
..................-They reserve space for their permanent counterparts.
Dr. de los Reyes will evaluate during every yearly exam if you child is a candidate for braces.
At what age should my child visit the orthodontist?
The first exam is usually between the ages of 7-9. However, most children won’t need braces at this age if their facial and dental development is normal. Typically, orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 11-13 depending on the rate of growth and development of your child.
At King St. Dental Wellness Center we also offer complete and comprehensive care for special needs children with mild to moderate conditions. Currently children with special needs receive all dental care in a hospital setting which can be very intimidating and overwhelming. We have created a safe and comfortable facility to care for these children in a non-invasive environment with noise cancellation head phones to shut off the sound of the drill and children can watch their favorite show on the TV during the procedure. Should the need arise, we have two “quiet rooms” (operating rooms) fully equipped to handle all surgical procedures with an anesthesiologist. To further your experience, we created a special waiting room for special needs families and their children. It also serves as a recovery room after having gone through procedures under partial or full sedation. In an effort to prepare children for their experience, we have created a “storyboard” to familiarize them with our amazing facility. >