What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a dental treatment that prevents tooth decay by covering fissures or biting surfaces of teeth. Food can easily get caught in the grooves of teeth and lead to tooth decay. Sealants fill in those grooves to ensure cavity protection.
The process of getting dental sealants is simple and painless. Teeth are cleaned thoroughly, then dried. Next, an acidic solution is applied to the surface of each tooth. This creates a rough surface that encourages bonding of the sealant. Teeth are then washed and dried again. The sealant is then painted on then ultraviolet light is used to harden it. The process doesn’t take too long and leaves you with protected teeth for years to come.
Who should get dental sealants?
Children and teenagers are the most common recipients of dental sealants. Fissure decay is more likely to begin early on in life, making children and young adults the best candidates for dental sealants. However, adults who have not had fillings or decay can also benefit from sealants. Anyone who is at a higher risk for decay can benefit from sealants! Things that put you at a higher risk for tooth decay include signs of dental caries, deficient enamel on teeth, deep pits or fissures on molars, a diet with high amounts of refined sugar or carbohydrates, poor oral hygiene habits, and those who have had orthodontic appliances.
Why are dental sealants important?
Dental sealants can provide protection to teeth that nothing else can. Fissures are prone to get food stuck in them at some point, even if you have good oral hygiene habits, leaving them vulnerable to decay. Some people may be more prone to dental decay than others. No matter, dental sealants can provide long term protection for your teeth.
When is the best time to get dental sealants?
Because sealants cannot be applied over a filling, it’s best to get them done before any tooth decay occurs. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have sealants applied to your child’s teeth as soon as their permanent teeth have come in. Childhood and teenage years are cavity prone years, save them from any potential decay with dental sealants. If you think sealants may be a good solution for you or your kids, talk to your dentist.
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants wear down over time. Like regular teeth, they are also prone to decay. How long a sealant will last will vary based on the material used and the oral hygiene habits of the recipient. Typically, sealants last 5 to 10 years. They should be checked regularly by your dentist for signs of damage. Sealants can be replaced or repaired. If sealants are significantly worn down, it’s better to replace them sooner rather than later. Worn down sealants will leave your teeth vulnerable to decay.
To learn more about dental sealants or consultant with a dentist about dental sealants, contact Fort Union Family Dental.