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David J. Campbell DDS
7110 Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48383
(248) 887-8387
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By David J. Campbell DDS
May 21, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sealants  

In children, most decay happens on the chewing surfaces of back teeth where pits and fissures collect organic matter tooth brushing whiten-teethcannot remove. Your White Lake family dentist, Dr. David Campbell, often recommends plastic sealants to protect young children from cavities. After all, both baby and adult teeth play important roles in your child's jaw development, overall health, appearance speech, and nutrition. No tooth is a throwaway! Learn more about sealants and what they do for children's teeth.

 

Fighting against tooth decay

At this point, you may be asking, "just what are plastic sealants?" Applied in the office by your White Lake family dentist, sealants are coatings painted on back teeth to protect them from decay. In addition to careful brushing and flossing at home, a tooth-friendly diet and routine examinations and cleanings at Dr. Campbell's office, sealants shield grooved tooth enamel. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that children ages 6 to 11 without plastic sealants are three times as likely to get cavities on the primary molars.

Back teeth—particularly on the chewing surfaces—decay more easily as they hold onto organic matter and the bacteria which reside in them. These bacteria release destructive acids which destroy enamel, a process that creates what we call cavities.

As a child grows, the baby teeth are lost as permanent grow, and unfortunately, both can decay quite easily if not protected. Luckily, sealants are a great adjunct to oral hygiene habits and can help cavities at bay. Additionally, they are economical, long-lasting, and easily applied right in the treatment chair

 

How your dentist applies sealants

This procedure is quick and painless, and young children do well with it. First, the tooth is cleaned and dried off. Then, Dr. Campbell applies a mild etching liquid which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth enamel. Next, he adds the liquid sealant with a small brush. Lastly, the sealant is cured (hardened) with a UV light.

That's it! After these simple steps, the tooth is ready to use and protected for up to ten years. During the following routine examinations, Dr. Campbell checks the condition of sealants to be sure they are intact and conferring the protection they were designed for.

 

Give us a call!

Dr. David Campbell and his able team love answering patient questions. If you wish to know more about sealants for your children (or for you!) please ask at your next check-up. We want all of our patients to be fully informed on their oral health status and preventive measures. To book your next appointment with our family dentist, call the White Lake office at (248) 887-8397.

SealantsCouldProtectYourChildsTeethFromFutureProblems

Teeth lost to tooth decay can have devastating consequences for a child’s dental health. Not only can it disrupt their current nutrition, speech and social interaction, it can also skew their oral development for years to come.

Fortunately, we have a number of preventive tools to curb decay in young children. One of the most important of these, dental sealants, has been around for decades. We apply these resin or glass-like material coatings to the pits and crevices of teeth (especially molars) to help prevent the buildup of bacterial plaque in areas where bacteria tend to thrive.

Applying sealants is a simple and pain-free process. We first brush the coating in liquid form onto the teeth’s surface areas we wish to protect. We then use a special curing light to harden the sealant and create a durable seal.

So how effective are sealants in preventing tooth decay? Two studies in recent years reviewing dental care results from thousands of patients concluded sealants could effectively reduce cavities even four years after their application. Children who didn’t receive sealants had cavities at least three times the rate of those who did.

Sealant applications, of course, have some expense attached to them. However, it’s far less than the cost for cavity filling and other treatments for decay, not to mention future treatment costs resulting from previous decay. What’s more important, though, is the beneficial impact sealants can have a child’s dental health now and on into adulthood. That’s why sealants are recommended by both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

And while sealants are effective, they’re only one part of a comprehensive strategy to promote your child’s optimum dental health. Daily brushing and flossing, a “tooth-friendly” diet and regular dental cleanings and checkups are also necessary in helping to keep your child’s teeth healthy and free of tooth decay.

If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By David J. Campbell DDS
November 05, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
ProtectingChildrensTeethFromDecayWithSealants

If you were to look closely at many of your teeth, you would notice deep, natural grooves in the enamel surface. Often referred to as “pits and fissures,” these are some of the most difficult places in the mouth to keep clean. Toothbrush bristles simply can't reach deep enough into them to be effective; what's more, their warm, moist environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth. Consequently, pits and fissures are the most common location for tooth decay.

Children are especially susceptible — pits and fissures account for 43% of tooth decay in patients between the ages of six and seven. This is because when children's teeth erupt (first become visible in the mouth) the new enamel is more permeable and less resistant to decay than older teeth. Until the enamel matures, the risk for decay remains high.

Fortunately, in recent years there has been a decrease in the occurrence of tooth decay among children. Better hygiene practices, fluoride products and fluoridated drinking water, better nutrition, and regular dental visits are all factors in this improvement. One development in particular provides children an extra layer of protection — the use of sealants on the tooth surfaces.

Sealants are protective coatings applied to tooth surfaces, especially in pits and fissures that act as a barrier between bacteria and the immature enamel. Although the degree and extent of sealant use varies across the profession, many dentists recommend sealant application in children for all permanent molars and many primary molars soon after eruption.

The accessibility of regular dental care also plays a factor — those who have no or limited access (and thus are at high risk for tooth decay) may benefit from sealants on all of their back teeth, while children with regular care access (low risk) may need only a few. In fact, some dentists only recommend sealants in low-risk children when tooth decay is already present and after first removing as much decay as possible.

The goal, of course, is to prevent decay, or reduce its effects, in children. Sealants can help, but only when coupled with other measures — and a good habit of oral hygiene.

If you would like more information on sealants for children's teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children.”