The chewing surfaces of premolars and molars are specially designed to grind up food and have lots of intricate fissures and grooves. While effective, these grooves can easily trap food and plaque and can be difficult to keep thoroughly clean. As a result these tooth surfaces often develop cavities. Fissure sealants can be an extremely good preventative dental care treatment for children whose adult back teeth have just emerged.
What Are Fissure Sealants?
Fissure sealants protect these surfaces by completely sealing them so bacteria cannot get into the grooves and fissures. They consist of a very thin layer of flowable plastic material that is similar to tooth coloured composite resin. Once applied to the teeth, fissure sealants are nearly invisible and create a smooth surface that is easy to keep clean.
How Are Fissure Sealants Applied?
The sealant is simply painted onto clean teeth and soon hardens and is ready to use. It is an extremely quick and non-invasive treatment and we recommend fissure sealant application soon after your child has their adult back teeth. Fissure sealants can only be used on cavity free teeth, which is why it’s important to have this treatment as soon as possible.
Can Fissure Sealants Be Used on a Child’s Milk or Primary Teeth?
We do not generally seal a child’s milk teeth, but if your child has particularly deep grooves in these teeth then we may recommend fissure sealants to keep them healthy and strong. It’s vitally important that milk teeth aren’t lost too soon as this can affect the development of their adult teeth.