18 Feb Protect Your Pearly Whites with Dr. Krista Kunz of Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry in Mt. Pleasant, SC
In addition to brushing and flossing twice a day, you can also take extra steps to protecting your kids’ teeth. The molar teeth are most susceptible to cavities for two reason. First, their chewing surface has more pits and fissures than the rest of the teeth. This can make it more difficult for toothbrush bristles to clean the chewing surface. Second, the majority of chewing is done with your molars, increasing the chances of food and bacteria getting stuck and causing decay. To protect your children’s molars, Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry can apply sealants when they come in around 6 years old and 12 years old.
Sealants are a plastic material that is brushed on the chewing surfaces of molars in liquid form. The procedure is quick and painless, and provides extra defense against cavity causing bacteria as well as acidic food and liquid that can break down enamel over time. There is no drilling, grinding, or removal of any part of the tooth structure. Sealants can last for several years, and will be checked by Dr. Kunz each time they visit for their cleanings every six months.
A report published in July 2017 by the Cochrane Collaboration, a group that studies and analyzes health information, found that the prevalence of cavities was reduced by 51% in children whose teeth were treated with sealants. Dr. Joel Berg, Dean of the School of Dentistry at University of Washington, also points out that applying sealants can also prevent adulthood dental health problems. Fillings, no matter how well placed, will eventually fail. When they fail, the tooth may need to be repaired with a crown or root canal. If we can stop the decay that causes cavities from the beginning, with sealants, we can help improve the future dental health of our children. And as we’ll talk about next week, dental health and overall health go hand in hand.
So what is the process? Sealants can be placed on both baby and permanent teeth. When the back teeth erupt, Dr. Kunz may decide that sealants are a good way to protect them. She will first clean and dry the teeth being sealed. Then she’ll brush a gel on their teeth that will help the sealants adhere to the surfaces of their back teeth. The gel is washed off and the teeth are dried again. The sealants are brushed on and Dr. Kunz shines a light on the molars to dry them. And that’s it!
Because Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry strives to put you and your children at ease, you can bring your kids in if you or they have questions or concerns! You can find us at 3070 N Hwy 17 Ste. 103 in Mt. Pleasant. We’re happy to explain everything in person and address any concerns.