You may notice that one of the most common treatments suggested for kids at the dentist are sealants. We’re always told that it’s a shield to help the teeth stay healthy, right? But what exactly is it? What does it do? Why it is only offered to kids? Let’s learn a little more about it!
Let’s start off with what exactly are sealants? The material of a sealant is a combination of resins and fillers that are combined to make a liquid that hardens once cured under a light. That process turns the liquid into a hard shell to protect those teeth, which is why we often refer to sealants as a shield.
What does that shield do? The sealant is applied on the biting surface of molars to protect the deep pits and grooves that are natural for our large chewing surfaces. Those natural pits and grooves are a hot spot for food and bacteria to settle and eventually can cause cavities. Having those sealants offer that extra layer of protection.
If it protects teeth from cavities, why is it only offered to kids? Sealants do a great job at keeping things out which is why we use them, but that means they do a great job of keeping things in as well. That means that the treatment are only offered to newly erupted adult teeth in children because it’s still in a pristine enough condition that we know we wouldn’t be trapping any bacteria to the tooth.
All in all, sealants are a great tool for those new adult molars to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible!