Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to prevent cavities. Children and teenagers are most likely to benefit from dental sealants, but adults can benefit from them as well.
The chewing surfaces of molars have pits and grooves that are difficult to keep clean. Bacteria and food particles can get caught in the molar’s pits and grooves, leading to the development of tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied to these problem areas to prevent bacteria from accumulating.
Benefits of dental sealants
- Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
- Dental sealants may be recommended to prevent future cavities, but they can also prevent gum disease. The sealants can help keep the gums healthy by sealing out plaque and bacteria and preventing it from building up in the deep crevices of the teeth.
- Dental sealants are durable, so they’re likely to last for many years. Most sealants can last for as long as a decade. Of course, there are instances where dental sealants are less effective. Those who grind their teeth often or who bite their nails may wear sealants down faster.
- Because dental sealants are simply painted onto the surface of the teeth, they’re unlikely to cause irritation or sensitivity. Dental sealants can be helpful for people of all ages, especially children and teens.
- Dental sealants are simple to apply. The sealants cure quickly, and most patients are able to eat right after the procedure is done.
- Unlike cavity fillings, dental sealants are painless. The procedure only takes a few minutes per tooth.
How are sealants applied?
Dental sealants are applied in the dentist’s office, and the process only takes a few minutes. The tooth is first cleaned, and the chewing surfaces are roughened to help give the sealant a strong hold. The sealant is then painted on and contoured to the shape of the tooth.
Are sealants effective?
Yes! Dental sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 60%, making them one of the most effective preventive dentistry treatments available.
How can I care for my teeth with sealants?
Caring for your teeth with sealants is easy. A dental sealant only requires good oral hygiene, so you don’t have to change your routine in any way. Simply continue brushing and flossing like you always have.
Are sealants safe?
Dental sealants are made from safe, non-toxic plastic. They will not irritate your child’s teeth or cause any other harmful effects. Sealants are typically recommended for children between the ages of 6 and 14, because this is when most permanent teeth have erupted.
Sealants can last for several years but need to be checked regularly to make sure there is no damage or decay underneath.
Schedule an appointment with Lincolnway Dental Center to learn more about good oral hygiene habits. Walk into 648 North Randall Road, Aurora, IL 60506. Contact us at (630) 897-1300 or visit our website for more information.