The most likely location for a cavity to develop in your child’s mouth is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are filled with tiny grooves referred to as “pits and fissures,” which trap bacteria and food particles. The bristles on a toothbrush can’t always reach all the way into these dark, moist little crevices. This creates the perfect conditions for tooth decay.
Dental sealants are white resin coatings that smooth out the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, making them resistant to decay. They are proven most effective on permanent molars so we typically start applying sealants around age 6. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity, require more expensive dental treatment later on, or, most importantly, cause your child pain. Most insurances cover sealants 100% as a preventive procedure.
Why space maintainers?
A major function of baby teeth is to hold space for the adult teeth that will eventually push them out. Extractions and space maintainers: when teeth are lost prematurely due to caries or trauma, it is important to talk to Dr. Shawn about space maintainers as shown above which hold the spot for a future tooth to erupt in good alignment.
Space maintainers are cemented onto an adjacent tooth and stays with the child until around 9-12 when the permanent tooth is ready to come in the mouth and we can take the space maintainer out.