Are you looking for a convenient way to prevent cavities from developing? Dental sealants may be right for you.
In this post, we’ll tell you how they work and who can benefit from them.
Dental Sealants: Definition and Use
Dental sealants have been becoming more popular for children and teens for a number of years now, but more recently they are starting to be used on adults as well.
Why? Because anyone prone to cavity development can benefit from their use. In fact, their effectiveness in preventing decay on molars is as high as 80 percent in some studies.
This is incredibly important, because the microscopic grooves and cracks in molars often serve as hiding places for bacteria and food particles, which can lead to cavity development. Molars can be especially difficult to clean – even with an attentive oral hygiene routine – so sealants offer additional protection.
How do they work?
A dental sealant consists of a special liquid gel that is applied over the molars. The sealant prevents the particles and bacteria from sitting directly on tooth enamel, which reduces your risk of tooth decay. They may also prevent early tooth decay from burrowing deeper into vulnerable teeth.
Are Dental Sealants Right for You?
As mentioned above, dental sealants have been found effective in children and teens for a number of years now. They may not adequately brush their teeth or floss regularly, and you may not have time to inspect their mouths every day, so dental sealants can work as nice buffer. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, children who do not have dental sealants are nearly three times as likely to develop cavities as children without the protection.
By applying a dental sealant on your child’s teeth as soon as molars appear, you can have greater peace of mind that his or her teeth are shielded from cavities. The first molar normally erupts around age 6, and the second molars appear between the ages of 11 and 13 in most children. If your child is between the ages of 6 and 13 years old, it’s wise to check with a dentist to see if sealants will be helpful.
What about you? Adults aren’t always perfect with their oral health routine either. Moreover, far more people today are keeping their adult teeth longer than ever before, leading to an increasing number of issues as they age.
If you are an adult who is more susceptible to tooth decay than the average person, a quick, affordable dental sealant application can save you pain, time, and money. By regularly applying dental sealants, your dentist can help you gain greater protection for your teeth, essentially keeping them working better for longer.
Of course, it’s also important to keep brushing and flossing regularly to prevent plaque buildup, and to schedule regular checkups with your dentist to monitor your oral health.
Are Dental Sealants Safe to Use?
Short answer: yes.
Dental sealants are made of plastic and other materials that are quite safe. In terms of your exposure to potentially harmful BPA, dental sealants are proven to be even safer for you than dust, air, or the food and drinks you consume.
In short, you don’t need to worry about whether dental sealants are safe. You can simply enjoy the long-term protection they offer after only a few minutes of application.
Does the Application of Dental Sealants Hurt?
Nope. The application process for dental sealants is completely pain-free.
Your dentist will make sure that your teeth are clean and completely dry before the process begins. Then the dentist will use a small brush to apply a preparatory gel to your tooth’s surface. The gel serves as a kind of sanding paper for your teeth, so that the sealant will tightly adhere.
After the gel does its work, your dentist will wash it away, then apply the sealant and make it adhere with a special light. You will need to wait about 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything. That’s all the process involves.
What If I Already Have Tooth Decay?
Once your teeth have been treated for tooth decay, your dentist can apply a transparent sealant over the area. This special sealant allows your dentist to monitor the tooth and remove the sealant if additional work can be done. By using transparent sealants over areas already affected by cavities, further damage may be prevented.
Get Results with Dental Sealants
The positive effects of dental sealants are long lasting. Along with regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene habits, dental sealants can provide cavity protection for up to nine years. However, they can experience wear and tear over time and may need to be reapplied. Most dentists recommend applying dental sealants every five years for maximum protection.
How Can I Learn More About Dental Sealants?
Make an appointment with your dentist to learn how dental sealants will help you or your child have better oral health. Your dentist can discuss payment options and financing with you. If it’s been over six months since your last dental checkup, call to discuss your treatment options today.