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5 things to know about Fissure Sealants

1. Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your children’s teeth from tooth decay. It is a plastic coating which covers the chewing surfaces of the back adult teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth. Most tooth decay in children occurs in the back teeth.

2. The application process is quick and straight forward taking only a few minutes per tooth. A dentist will clean and prepare the tooth with a special solution. The tooth is dried with air. The liquid is then applied and set using a hard light. It is pain free.

3. Sealants can be clear or white in colour. Because they are on the back teeth, they cannot be seen when a child talks or smiles.

4. They can last for many years and the dentist may check them at each check-up visit. They can wear over time and the dentist may add or replace some sealant.

5. Sealants are only one part of a child’s preventative dental care. It is still important that teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. The sealed surfaces will now be easier to clean when brushing. It is also important that children don’t eat a lot of sugary foods and drink especially between meals. These should be kept as treats or for special occasions.

Information courtesy of the Dental Health Foundation