Purpose of a Dental Sealant

You may have heard the old adage, “Prevention is the best protection.” This is true whether you’re applying sunscreen to prevent a sunburn or you’re brushing your teeth to prevent a cavity. Unfortunately, brushing and flossing likely aren’t on your children’s minds; in fact, they usually would rather be doing anything else. When they actually do brush, they may neglect hard-to-reach areas, so the very cavity you were hoping to prevent ends up forming anyway. The purpose of a dental sealant is to provide extra protection against such cavities.

A dental sealant is a clear coating that is placed on the chewing surface of a permanent back tooth. In pediatric dentistry, dental sealants are recommended because a child’s back teeth contain grooves in which sugary foods can easily become stuck, thus leading to cavities. The grooves are hard to clean because even a thin toothbrush bristle can be difficult to fit into them. This is why research shows that people have a 95 percent chance of developing cavities in these parts of the teeth.

Your kid’s dentist usually will place your child’s first dental sealant on his or her first permanent molar. However, your pediatric dentistry office may also recommend placing sealants on your child’s primary, or baby, teeth if these teeth have grooves that could benefit from the clear coatings. Keeping baby teeth healthy is critical because they maintain the proper spacing needed for future permanent teeth.

Sealants may also be recommended for adults who are susceptible to cavities or whose teeth feature deep grooves that have not yet received fillings. Sealants, which are white or clear in color, take just a short time to place. However, they can last for several years. These coatings can withstand the forces of normal chewing and are virtually unnoticeable.

Protect your child’s teeth – and your own, too – against tooth decay. Contact our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today to learn more about how dental sealants can keep your and your children’s teeth stronger and healthier in the long run.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Your child’s day may be characterized by consuming a few jelly beans here and there – despite your telling him not to – along with doing a few daredevil bike stunts with his friends. Something as simple as a jelly bean or a bike ride, however, can lead to a dental emergency that requires the assistance of a children’s dentist – and these types of emergencies typically happen when you least expect them.

A common children’s emergency is the cavity – one of the most common causes of toothaches. A cavity forms when cavity-causing bacteria eat sugars left behind on the teeth and then convert these sugars to acid plaque, or a sticky substance. This plaque then softens a tooth’s outer layers. Although a small cavity can be simple to fix, it can cause discomfort, swelling and even an infection if left unattended.

Another common children’s emergency is a cracked or broken tooth, which can easily occur in children who are active in sports. An abscess, or an infection deep in the gum and in the surrounding tissues, can result if a cracked/broken tooth is left untreated. Although an abscess can be extremely uncomfortable, immediate care from your children’s dentist can help the discomfort to rapidly decrease.

If one of your child’s teeth is knocked out, there is a chance that the tooth could still be saved. You simply should place the tooth in a cup of milk and go straight to the dentist, as a tooth that is reset in an hour has the best chance of taking root once again.

In addition, if your child is being woken up at night due to discomfort in the mouth, experiences pain upon chewing or has pain that lasts for hours and is not relieved by over-the-counter medication, then he or she is experiencing a true dental emergency. Get in touch with our friendly and experienced dental team today to find out how we can treat your child’s emergency and restore his or her comfort right away. Call 817-569-6633 for more information.