Protecting the teeth from cavities is a full-time job and luckily dental sealants protect teeth. For many people, brushing and flossing simply are not enough to keep cavities at bay. Some people have many deep grooves and depressions in their back teeth that brushing and flossing simply cannot clean. Food particles and plaque love to hide in deep grooves, and if those particles are not removed they lead to eroding bacteria that damage the teeth and cause cavities. Luckily, there are dental sealants that dentists “paint” on the back teeth to protect the enamel of the teeth.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic-like coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth (usually the molars and premolars). These sealants help prevent tooth decay because they act as a shield – they “seal out” food particles and plaque from getting trapped in deep grooves within the molars.
Children, teens, and adults are all candidates for dental sealants. Having sealants applied to the teeth is a simple and painless procedure. It only takes a few minutes for the dentist or dental hygienist to apply the sealant. Sealants are typically applied at the end of a dental cleaning when the teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Each tooth that is to receive a sealant is dried and cotton swabs are placed around the teeth to keep them dry. An acid solution is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This acid solution is used to roughen up the surface so that the sealant will more readily bond to the teeth. The teeth will then be rinsed and dried again. Finally, the sealant will be painted onto the tooth enamel. It will bond with the tooth and harden, and the dentist will typically use a curing light to ensure that the sealant hardens properly.
Dental sealants protect teeth. Even those who brush and floss daily need a little help to ensure that their teeth stay healthy. Sealants are a highly recommended procedure that can protect the teeth for up to 10 years. Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants, so it is worth your while to investigate all of the benefits sealants have to offer. Please call our office Hello Family Dental today — we would be happy to discuss sealants as well as other dental procedures that may interest you.