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How Sealants Can Help Your Child's Smile

What does paint do for the exterior of a home? It beautifies and protects it from damage, doesn't it? At Beaufort River Dental in Beaufort, SC, your family dentist, Dr. David Babb, uses plastic sealants in much the same way. These tooth-colored coatings protect your child's teeth from the ravages of decay, keeping them beautiful and healthy for years to come.

What is a dental sealant?

Sealants are biocompatible plastic coatings literally painted on back teeth. The sealant liquid seeps into the tiniest of pits and fissures characteristic of molars. These defects collect and hold onto dangerous plaque and tartar which your child's toothbrush and floss cannot remove.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that sealants reduce childhood decay by as much as 80 percent. So, this simple, inexpensive and easily applied barrier protects teeth really well, avoiding unnecessary fillings and more extensive restorations.

The typical sealant patient is between the ages of six and 14, elaborates the ADA. However, your Beaufort, SC, dentist also recommends the treatment for older teens and adults who have healthy teeth but desire additional protection against oral bacteria and the decay which often happens.

Applying sealants

Dr. Babb will determine how many teeth require sealants. To begin the process, he cleans and dries the first tooth. This surface preparation ensures the sealant bonds well to the tooth enamel.

Then, he applies the plastic liquid with a small brush, allowing the material to penetrate all the intricate fissures, pits and grooves. When complete, he activates the bonding process with a special UV light. Each tooth takes about 10 minutes or so to seal.

Sealants and your child

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report this simple equation: more children with sealants=fewer children with active tooth decay. These thin barriers stay in place for about ten years and may be repaired or replaced if they wear thin or chip. Along with a healthy diet, in-office examinations and professional cleanings and a regular routine of brushing and flossing at home, your child can have few to no cavities. Imagine that!

Contact us

At Beaufort River Dental, Dr. David Babb and his team are all about healthy smiles. Preventive care is key to that goal. So, when you come in to our office in Beaufort, SC, for your next visit with your dentist, please ask about dental sealants for your children--or even for yourself. Call for your appointment at (843) 525-1113.

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