What you should know about pit and fissure sealant for children
With the improvement of people's living standards, children now have more access to sweet snacks, which may result in oral health issues. One of the main concerns is tooth decay. Results of the fourth national oral health epidemiological survey showed that the caries rate of 3-year-old children was 50.8 percent while that of 5-year-old children was 71.9 percent.
As parents, what can we do to reduce the risk of tooth decay for our children? In addition to diet control and careful teeth cleaning, we can also protect their fragile teeth through a simple but effective measure: pit and fissure sealant.
According to surveys, between 70 to 80 percent of dental caries in children and adolescents in China occur in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where the enamel is weak. Food and bacteria can easily accumulate in these areas of the teeth and they are difficult to clean.
Pit and fissure sealant is a dental treatment that requires placing polymer composite resin materials in the pits and fissures to form a protective barrier to safeguard teeth from corrosion by food and bacteria.
Pit and fissure sealant treatment is recommended for deciduous molars when children are 3-4 years old, for the first permanent molars when children are 6-9 years old, and for the second permanent molars when they are 11-13 years old.
If these opportunities are missed, you can take your child to the Stomatology Department of Chongqing Health Center for Women and Children (CQHCWC) to check whether pit and fissure sealant is needed. Not all pits and fissures can be covered with a sealant, and if tooth decay has already occurred, filling or other treatment measures can be used.
Steps of pit and fissure sealant treatment
Step 1: Brush the stains on the surface of the teeth
Step 2: Undertake acid etching, washing and drying for the tooth surface
Step 3: Place pit and fissure sealant
Step 4: Light and solidify the sealant
Step 5: Check the curing of the sealant
Pit and fissure sealant treatment is noninvasive and painless. The sealant can only protect pits and fissures of teeth and it needs inspection every 3-6 months to check whether it has fallen off. The adjacent surfaces of the teeth, which are also prone to cavities, must be cleaned through brushing and flossing.
To learn more about children's oral health care, please visit the Stomatology Department of CQHCWC.
Address: Area B, 2nd Floor, Outpatient Clinic, Ranjiaba Branch of CQHCWC
Service hours: 8 am-noon, 2-5:30 pm from Monday to Friday