Dental Sealants North Hollywood
Tooth decay affects about half of American children by the time they reach their teens. Cavities are highly preventable with good dental hygiene and the right dental care, including preventive treatments such as sealants. Our North Hollywood dental office offers dental sealants to help protect your child’s smile from tooth decay.
The chewing surfaces of the teeth are most vulnerable to harm. In children’s teeth, these surfaces tend to have deep grooves and pits called fissures that can be difficult to clean. Some of these fissures are narrower than toothbrush bristles, and bacteria can easily hide there and decay the enamel. The bacteria release acids that erode the enamel in and around the fissures, and over time, the tooth softens and decays as a cavity forms. A cavity permanently damages the tooth and can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Only dental sealants can keep bacteria and debris out of these fissures.
Our North Hollywood team will typically recommend dental sealants as soon as the permanent molars and premolars have erupted. These teeth begin to erupt when the baby teeth fall out, and they continue to appear until around eleven to thirteen years of age. Sealants can be applied in a single appointment. The tooth is cleaned, and the surface is roughened using a special etching liquid. The liquid sealant is painted on and then cured with a light. It hardens quickly and is ready to use when you or your child leaves our office. Sealants are typically only applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars and premolars, but some children may benefit from having their baby teeth sealed, as well.
Sealants do not eliminate the need for good dental hygiene. The patient will still need to clean the teeth properly and eat a balanced diet. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are also needed, and we may recommend periodic fluoride treatments. At each appointment, we will check the sealants to ensure they are intact. Sealants typically last many years but can be replaced if necessary.
Call our dentist in North Hollywood to learn more about dental sealants and other preventive treatments, or to schedule your child’s next appointment.
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