A dental sealant is a very thin film used for coating the fissures and pits on a tooth. It is common for parents to get them for their children, because they want to prevent cavities from happening due to foods that get stuck inside these small grooves. Since children are not the best when it comes to brushing their teeth, it can help prevent decay from happening while they are young. You should know that dental sealants will not last indefinitely. They do need special care to prevent them from chipping and eventually deteriorating. Thankfully, these tips can prevent it from happening.
Limit The Hard Foods They Eat
A dental sealant is composed primarily of plastic, which is why the material will wear down over time. If your child eats a lot of hard foods, the deterioration process can potentially speed up. Things like ice and hard candy can actually tear away at the sealant, which exposes the tooth's surface and makes it more likely to get tooth decay. Small openings can also cause bacteria to become trapped underneath the film, which is hard to remove once it is inside it.
Prevent Night Time Teeth Grinding
Grinding teeth together will slowly cause the sealant to deteriorate, losing that protective barrier. Unfortunately, teeth grinding can be completely unintentional since it happens while your child is sleeping. Some signs that you want to look for is if your kid has a sore or stiff jaw, or is complaining that they have pain in their jaw.
You can have a dentist make a custom mouth guard that they wear only at bedtime. These are a lot more comfortable than the standard mouth guards that you can find at your local drug store, which makes your child more likely to wear it and keep it in while sleeping.
Switch To A Toothbrush With Soft Bristles
Consider the type of toothbrush that your child is using. Does it have hard bristles? These are best to fight severe bacteria and plaque, but not so great for dental sealants. Hard bristles can actually cause enamel to be scraped away, and cause dental sealants to break, chip, or tear. If you are getting dental sealants for your child, switch to a toothbrush that has soft bristles.
For more info on how to preserve your child's dental sealants, speak to your dentist. They can provide you with additional tips that will help them last as long as possible.
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