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By the middle of their adolescent years, children’s primary teeth should be completely replaced by the 32 permanent teeth that will serve them throughout adulthood.

The molars and premolars have ridges known as “cusps” that allow the teeth to break down food and make swallowing and digestion easier. Unfortunately, these cusps also tend to provide places for acid, bacteria and plaque to hide. In some cases, brushing alone may not sufficiently remove those substances that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, which is when dental sealants are typically used.

During your child’s routine checkup, our gentle dentist, Dr. Robert J. Luszczak (most people call him “Dr. Bob”), might recommend applying dental sealants to those teeth. Sealants are a special type of dental resin that your dentist applies to the back teeth to form a barrier against acid, bacteria and plaque.

Dental sealants can last up to 10 years before they need to be replaced. While sealants are frequently used to help protect children’s teeth, cavity-prone adults can also enjoy their benefits.

Though dental sealants are effective in their role of protecting teeth, they do not replace brushing and flossing. Sealants merely protect the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. Brushing and flossing are essential for helping to maintain oral health.

If you live in the Granada Hills, California, area and you are concerned about the health of your child’s permanent teeth, we welcome you to call 818-363-7484 to schedule a dental checkup at White Oak Family Dentistry today. We’re always happy to help, and we look forward to hearing from you!