Everyone knows that brushing and flossing are ways to prevent tooth decay. However, it can be challenging to remove food and plaque from those tiny grooves in your teeth. This is especially true in the back of your mouth by the molars and premolars. Dental sealants are designed to prevent bacteria and debris from settling in these nooks and crannies.
According to the CDC, sealants protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years. Learn more about dental sealants and whether or not you are a good candidate for this simple procedure.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants consist of a thin, plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent cavities. Once applied, the plastic coating quickly bonds to the grooves of the teeth to create a protective barrier over the tooth enamel. The main goal of dental sealants is to essentially “seal out” food and plaque.
Applying dental sealants takes just a few moments. Your Melbourne, Florida dentist or hygienist will likely start with a dental teeth cleaning to create a clean surface in which to adhere the sealants. Each tooth is then dried with an absorbent material, such as cotton.
Next, an acid solution is applied to the chewing surfaces to slightly roughen up the surface to allow for the sealant to bond more efficiently. The teeth are then rinsed and dried before the sealant is painted onto the chewing surfaces. A curing light may be used to speed up the sealant drying process.
Who is a Good Candidate for this Procedure?
Dental sealants are most often applied on children’s teeth. However, adults of all ages can also benefit from the use of sealants. This procedure can help fill the gaps in your oral health care routine and prevent the formation of cavities. Sealants may be right for you and/or your child if:
- Your child has new, permanent molars that require long-term protection
- Molars in your mouth have deep grooves that tend to collect food and bacteria
- You are a teen or young adult that is prone to cavities
- Saving money (in the long run) by preventing cavities is important to you
- You want to avoid the discomfort of tooth decay and filling treatments
Due to the higher likelihood of developing decay in the grooves and depressions of the molars and premolars, children and teens are excellent candidates for dental sealants. Children should consider getting sealants in their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in. Sealants can help protect teeth in children as young as six years old.
In some cases, dental sealants may be recommended for baby teeth if a child has deep grooves where food gets stuck. Baby teeth play an important role in the development of adult teeth and require proper care to ensure that they maintain the correct spacing for permanent teeth. Adults without fillings or decay in their molars can also benefit from dental sealants.
What are the Benefits?
There are many benefits that come from having dental sealants applied to your teeth. First, sealants are usually clear or white, meaning, they will not negatively impact the look of your teeth. In most cases, you cannot see sealants when you open your mouth or smile.
Sealants take just a few minutes to apply and the process is safe and painless. They do not require any injections or drilling and will not dissolve in saliva. Your sealants should; however, be examined by your Melbourne, Florida dentist during your routine dental exams to ensure that they have not started to chip or wear away.
Schedule an Appointment for Sealants with Our Office
Dental sealants are an important part of a person’s preventative dental care, especially for children. To learn more about dental sealants or to find out if you or your child may be a good candidate for this procedure, reach out to the experienced dental professionals at Artistic Touch Dentistry.