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Dental Sealants: What Are They And Do I Need Them

by | Dec 22, 2017

If you’re serious about your oral health, you may be considering dental sealants for you and your family. The purpose of dental sealants is to provide you with another tool that can help you maintain your oral health. As described by the CDC, sealants are comprised of very thin layers of plastic that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of each molar. This prevents food particles from coming into contact with the sealed surface of the tooth.

When you eat and drink, tiny particles of food can become lodged or stuck on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. These food particles mix with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth, creating acid that attacks the enamel. Over time, constant acid attacks on your teeth can result in cavities and tooth decay.

Oral Health Benefits of Sealants

Dental sealants can be a part of regular oral care and hygiene for individuals of all ages. Though they are primarily used for children, adults can also benefit from sealants.

  • Fills and Seals the Grooves and Pits in the Molars
  • Helps Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities
  • Helps Reduce the Risk of Needing Fillings in the Back Molars
  • Lasts Between Five and 10 Years
  • Can Be Reapplied as Needed

Why Dental Sealants Are a Good Idea

Many children, teenagers, and adults have difficulty cleaning their back teeth. It can be difficult to reach every surface of the molars with a toothbrush, and some individuals may not be able to reach their back teeth with floss. Over time, the lack of good oral hygiene on the back teeth can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Dental sealants can help prevent these problems by sealing the chewing surfaces.

Good Candidates

For the best possible results, children should get sealants as soon as their molars have erupted because new teeth do not have any dental decay. Dentists recommend that children between the ages of six and 14 get dental sealants to help prevent cavities. It is important to note that older teenagers and adults can also get sealants if their molars are in good condition, meaning that the teeth do not have any signs of decay, dental fillings or previous dental work.

How Dental Sealants Are Applied

The process of applying a dental sealant is painless and does not involve altering the tooth’s surface. To apply the sealants, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned to remove any hidden food particles and plaque. Once clean, the teeth are dried and a small amount of gel is placed on the teeth to be sealed in order to help the bonding process. Then, the tooth is rinsed and dried again. The dental hygienist then paints the sealant onto the chewing surface of the tooth, making sure all the pits and crevices are filled. Once the sealant has been applied it is left for a small amount of time to cure.

Oral Hygiene with Dental Sealants

Once you have your dental sealants, it is important to maintain your dental hygiene routine. This means that you will still need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day and use a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and gum disease. Sealants are simply another tool that you can use to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

Do you need Dental Sealants? Check with your Dentist

Your dentist can evaluate your teeth to determine if you or your child would benefit from dental sealants. If you are a good candidate for the process, they can apply the sealants to your teeth often during the same dental appointment as your check-up or teeth cleaning.

Triangle Dentistry located in Raleigh, NC provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns and implants to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 747-3592.