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Does Your Child Have Fissure Sealants?

Here at Downham Market Dental Care, we love seeing younger patients and our friendly dental team go out of their way to help children feel relaxed and comfortable during their visits. We focus heavily on preventative dental care, particularly where children are concerned, as with the proper care and advice it’s possible for your child to enjoy strong, cavity free teeth well into adulthood. There are a number of preventative dental treatments that can help achieve this, one of which is fissure sealants.

childrens-teethWhat Are Fissure Sealants?

These are a way of protecting the chewing surfaces of a child’s adult back teeth. These chewing surfaces contain lots of fissures and grooves that help grind up food. While they may do this very effectively, these fissures can be quite deep and will often trap bacteria and food, greatly increasing the risk of tooth decay. Fissure sealants consist of a very thin layer of flowable plastic that completely seals the tooth surface, preventing bacteria from getting in and protecting the tooth against decay. Once the fissure sealant is in place, it is virtually invisible and is thin enough not to interfere with the way teeth bite together. Fissure sealants are a very cost-effective and easy way to protect a child’s teeth, particularly as treatment is extremely quick and non-invasive.

When Is the Best Time to Have Fissure Sealants?

We normally suggest children have fissure sealants soon after their adult back teeth have pushed through. This is because we can only use fissure sealants on teeth that do not have any fillings or any signs of decay so it’s important to take action quickly to protect these teeth. It may sometimes be possible to use fissure sealants on teeth that have extremely small lesions as sealing them can help prevent the decay from progressing any further, but this is quite rare. If your child has particularly deep fissures in their milk teeth and has a high risk of tooth decay then we might suggest using fissure sealants to protect these teeth. This is because it’s vital that milk teeth aren’t lost to soon as they help the adult teeth to emerge in the correct positions.

How Are Fissure Sealants Applied?

There isn’t any need to use local anaesthetic when applying fissure sealants. For this treatment, our dentist in Downham Market will carefully clean your child’s teeth. Next a special liquid is used to lightly etch the tooth surfaces as this will create a better bond in between the tooth and the fissure sealant. The teeth are then washed and dried and the fissure sealant is simply painted onto the chewing surfaces. We can then leave it to harden naturally or it can be hardened more quickly using a special blue light. Afterwards your child will be able to eat and drink normally.

Once in place, fissure sealants should last for quite a few years but they can be reapplied if they begin to look worn. This is something our dentist in Downham Market will assess during your child’s regular dental check-ups.

To find out more about children’s dentistry then why not visit our website at www.Downhammarketdentalcare.co.uk? If you’d like to book an appointment with a dentist in Downham Market, please give us a call on 01366 382265.

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