Seal the deal for healthy teeth

It is hard to imagine that a very thin plastic coating that you cannot even see can do so much to protect your child’s teeth. But that’s what the thin coating called a dental sealant does when applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects those teeth by keeping germs and food particles from getting trapped there. And that helps prevent tooth decay. Sealants are typically applied to the first and second permanent molars right after they erupt.

Getting sealants applied is quick and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. Next the tooth is washed off and dried. Then the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about one minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.

A sealant can last 5 to 10 years.

Sealants are part of a child’s total preventive dental care program. A complete program includes fluoride, brushing twice each day, wise food choices, and regular dental care.

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