If your child has recently seen their dentist, then you may learn a little about your son or daughter's teeth. If the dentist has informed you that the biting surfaces have deep grooves, then the professional may suggest the application of sealants. Keep reading to learn why the deep grooves are an issue and how the sealants can help.
Why Are Deep Grooves A Problem?
All of the teeth have uneven surfaces across the biting edges. These surfaces allow the teeth to fit together as you bite and they also help to break up your food so you can chew properly. The molars and premolars have the deepest grooves, and this helps with the grinding of the food. Unfortunately, some of the grooves allow some food particles to cling to the biting surfaces of the teeth. This food attracts bacteria to the teeth and the bacteria feed and deteriorate the dental enamel. The deterioration causes cavities to form.
Since the grooves are deeply sent in the surfaces of the teeth, decay may not be noticeable right away. This means that cavities can form for a while before you notice the brown or black formations in the teeth. This can cause significant structural weaknesses and the need for big fillings.
Fillings that are placed in the biting surfaces of the teeth will often be worn away through normal chewing and biting activities. This means that the fillings will likely need to be replaced sooner than later. It is wise to prevent fillings for as long as possible so children can retain their healthy teeth.
How Do Sealants Help?
Since deep grooves are responsible for collecting food and debris, it makes sense that filling in the openings can assist with the reduction in cavity formations. Your child's dentist can fill the openings in with a special type of clear, and safe plastic material. The plastic is painted over the tops of the molars and premolars and then hardened with a UV light.
Before the sealant is secured, the teeth will need to be cleaned thoroughly to make sure that all food and tartar is released from the grooves of the teeth. Make sure that you schedule more than enough time so the dentist has the opportunity to clean the teeth and the sealer.
Sealants will wear off over time as your child eats food. The pediatric dentist will check the plastic material and it will be replaced once it wears away. However, this will only need to happen once every year or two, depending on your child's diet. For more information, contact companies like Dentistry For Children.