Fissure Seals

Brisbane Children's Dentist

Only two sets of teeth to last a lifetime!

By 3 years of age, your child will have 20 primary (baby) teeth. It is very important to take good care of these first teeth; even tough they will be replaced by permanent teeth. Kids need them for chewing, speaking and having a bright smile. Also your child’s baby teeth hold the space for the permanent teeth. Early loss of a baby tooth can reduce the space for the permanent tooth and cause crowding. See how dentists can help protect permanent teeth after an early loss of a primary teeth using space maintainers.

Why Is Fissure Sealant Effective?

  • Your dentist can further help prevent childhood decay by applying a sealant: a white material that fills in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, where cavities often first develop.
  • This can more importantly be applied at around age of 6 when the first permanent molars erupt.
  • Another critical time is 11 -12 years of age when the second permanent molars erupt.
  • Dental sealants don’t last forever; if part of the sealant breaks off, tooth decay can start.

Regular dental visits will help keep an eye on the sealants.

Image below shows fissure caries:

Fissure Caries
Fissure Sealing

In a study by Li and Wang in 2003, it was reported that children with dental caries in their primary teeth including early childhood caries are at 3 times higher risk of caries in permanent teeth. Fissure sealant used in first permanent molars is an effective solution to reduce the risk of caries.

When Will my Child’s Baby Teeth Erupt?

Teeth development in children

When Will My Child’s Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Your child will start to lose his or her baby teeth around age six. The process of permanent teeth replacing primary teeth occurs until the age of 12 or 13.

Children Oral Care At Home

Plaque is the sticky, soft layer of bacteria that forms on teeth every day. Plaque needs to be removed every day to prevent tooth decay and gum problems. Brushing before bedtime is especially important, however, studies show that brushing twice a day reduces the risk of tooth decay much more than just brushing once.

Tooth Brushing Tips for Children Under 18 Months

  • start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears
  • brushing morning and night
  • use a child size soft toothbrush with NO toothpaste

Tooth Brushing Tips for Children 18 Months and Over

  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a small pea size amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste e.g. my first Colgate®, MacLean milk teeth® and oral B Stages®
  • Use a child size soft toothbrush
  • It’s better not to rinse after brushing, only spit
  • When brushing your toddler’s teeth, you may find it easier to lay them in your lap with their head resting against your arm or to stand behind them. This way you will have more control and feel more secure
  • Spend 2 minutes brushing, concentrate on chewing surfaces and back teeth, where cavities often first develop
  • Don’t share brushes between children
  • Encourage your children to brush their own teeth but supervise and assist them until they are about eight
  • Replace your child’s toothbrush when it begins to wear or every three months, which ever comes first
  • Brushing together sets a good example and helps your child to learn by watching and imitating you

Should I be Flossing my Child’s Teeth?

Yes. A good rule of thumb is to start when two teeth touch. This normally happens first with the back teeth. To begin with you will have to brush for them, but eventually they will be able to do it on their own. Using a Flossette may help you and your child get used to flossing. The earlier you start the flossing, the more likely it will become part of the daily routine.

Plaque Disclosing Tablets

Have a look. Plaque is not easy to see unless there is lots of it. Plaque disclosing tablets contain a food dye that stains plaque so it is easier to see . use the disclosing tablets occasionally to help you and your child see places missed with the toothbrush and floss.

Brisbane Kids Dental Plaque

How Important is My Child’s Diet?


  • Guide children away from sugary foods and drinks and reduce the number of times they have them during the day, for example by just serving them at meal times
  • Offer your child healthy snacks like cheese, vegetable sticks, fresh fruit and plain yogurt
  • Breast milk is the best for your baby
  • Teach your baby to drink from a cup from around 6 months, only put water, formula or milk in the cup
  • Give your child, Fluoridated tap water or milk to drink between meals
  • Avoid cordials and soft drinks
  • Put your baby to bed without a bottle

Thumb Sucking and Dummies

  • Thumb sucking and the use of a dummy by a baby is little cause for concern before permanent teeth appear
  • If the habit persists after the permanent teeth appear the thumb or dummy will force the teeth and jaw out of alignment. This may then need correction by a dental specialist, an orthodontist
  • Do not add flavoring to your child’s dummy
  • Check dummy regularly for rips and tears and replace it if these are found
  • Do not suck the child’s dummy, as this will transfer bacteria from your mouth to the child’s

Suggestions for Changing Your Child's Habit

  • Only give the child a dummy at sleep time
  • Discourage your child from walking around with the dummy or thumb in his mouth
  • If the child still has the habit at around four years of age; make a date by which the child will have given up the habit. Talk to child about giving up and work towards reducing the time the child has the dummy or sucks their thumb. By the date, the child might be prepared to stop the habit
  • If your child’s sucking habit causes you concerns, discuss methods of breaking the habit with your dentist.

When Will My Baby’s Permanent Teeth Erupt?

First Permanent Molars

The first permanent molars usually erupt between ages 6 and 7 years. For that reason, they often are called the “six-year molars.” These molars don’t replace an existing primary tooth. These important teeth sometimes are mistaken for primary teeth. However, they are permanent and must be cared for properly if they are to last throughout the child’s lifetime. The six-year molars also help determine the shape of the lower face and affect the position and health of other permanent teeth. One of the most common preventative treatment for the 6 year old molars is fissure sealants.

This page provide information specific to children. For Adults dental treatments refer Pure Dentistry Dentists in Brisbane.