Leave the Crevasses to Mt. Hood

General Dentistry Hillsboro, ORWhen you’re up to hiking on Mt. Hood, the last thing you want to underestimate is a crevasse. The same could be said for the molars of your children. Although maybe not in the “crevasse” realm, pits and fissures in the molars can trap food particles and become breeding grounds for bacteria. You know where this is leading — decay and a cavity.

That’s why Dr. Miller is a big fan of dental sealants. Dental sealants can fill in those pits in the molars and help keep your child cavity free.

What are sealants?

Whether a child’s teeth have deep pits in the molars is mostly a result of genetics. If you had pits in your teeth that harbored food and eventually needed fillings, odds are your children do as well. So, what you want to do is fill in those pits before they end up in decay and subsequent fillings.

Dr. Miller uses a strong resin or glass ionomer that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth. Now, food can’t get down into the pits and attract bacteria.

Who needs sealants?

Prevention is the name of the game. Dr. Miller recommends that children and teenagers with even moderate grooves in their teeth should get sealants. The ages from 6 to 14 are the most cavity-prone years, and sealants can head off some of these potential cavities. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed any decay and are without fillings.

How are sealants applied?

Applying sealants is simple.

  1. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
  4. This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
  5. The sealant is painted onto the tooth, and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during the cavity-prone years.

Dr. Miller likes Mt. Hood, even its crevasses. He doesn’t like crevasses on your child’s molars, so he’d like to seal them. Call us at 503-640-9310 to schedule your next appointment.

Posted in: Dental Sealants

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