Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as eating right and visiting the dentist twice a year are great ways to keep cavities from developing in your pearly whites. But if you want an extra level of protection, dental sealants could be the answer for you. Read on to learn more about this simple preventative measure.
While they may look solid and smooth, your teeth have grooves and fissures in their biting surfaces. Brushing and flossing remove food particles, but some may remain in these small areas. Dental sealants are special plastic coatings that are applied to the surface of your teeth. They cover those fissures and grooves, preventing food particles from collecting in there and potentially causing tooth decay. Usually, only the premolars and molars are treated with dental sealants because these teeth are located towards the back of the mouth and are more difficult to reach to clean thoroughly.
Dental sealants don’t feel like much of anything. In fact, you may not even notice any difference in how your teeth feel, even when biting or chewing. There won’t even be a plastic taste in the mouth.
While anyone can get dental sealants if they wish, children between the ages of 6 and 14 are the most common candidates to receive them. These ages are the times when molars and premolars emerge, and placing dental sealants can help guarantee that they erupt normally and stay healthy.
The procedure for placing dental sealants is a quick and simple one. It is usually performed after a routine cleaning, once the teeth are free of food particles and plaque. The teeth getting treated must be dried completely before receiving the sealants. They are first treated with an acidic solution to ensure that the plastic resin stays in place. Once this solution dries, the sealants are carefully applied. A curing light may be used to help the sealants harden.
Sealants can last up to 10 years. Your dentist will check on them during routine exams, replacing and mending chips and cracks as needed. With dental sealants, you can have confidence that your teeth are protected against decay.