Dental Sealants Protect Teeth From Tooth Decay
A dental sealant is a protective barrier placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to seal out food and bacteria which result in cavities. These sealants are often made of a plastic-like material and applied in a thin layer to fill hard-to-clean areas of the teeth.
Application Of Dental Sealants Is Quick And Easy!
The application of sealants is a quick and comfortable process, and usually only takes one visit!
First, the surface of your teeth are polished and cleaned of any plaque or food debris.
Next, each tooth receiving sealants will be isolated and dried.
The teeth are then etched to allow the sealant to adhere more securely and then rinsed and dried to prepare for the sealant application.
The sealant is then applied to each tooth and cured by a special light to bond the sealant to the teeth.
Finally the new sealants will be evaluated and once hardened, will be safe to chew on!
When Should You Get Sealants?
Ideally, children should get sealants as soon as their permanent teeth erupt. This is typically around age 6, but the timing can vary depending on the person.
Children are prone to develop dental caries (cavities) in the pits and fissures of their new posterior teeth because they can be very difficult to reach and clean. If sealants are applied soon after permanent teeth erupt, food and bacteria don't have the chance to settle in these crevices and develop into cavities.
That being said, sealants are a smart, preventative measure for ALL AGES. You can seal all posterior teeth, as long as they have not previously had decay. If you are over the age of six and have posterior teeth that have never had decay, we recommend sealants for them. The American Dental Association says that there is a 95% chance of experiencing cavities if sealants are not used.
It's not too late to prevent future cavities! If you would like to schedule a sealant appointment or have a few questions we can help answer, contact us. We're happy to help!
Top image by Flickr user davitydave used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.