What Are Dental Sealants?

95648 Dentist Provides Dental Sealants

While brushing and flossing are your primary defense against cavities, there are things you can do in addition to help protect your teeth. One such thing is called a dental sealant, a layer of material, usually plastic, put over the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (your molars) to keep out cavity-causing bacteria. Are dental sealants right for you? Here's some information to help you make that decision.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Your molars can be particularly prone to cavities. In addition to being way back in your mouth, these teeth have grooves that can catch and retain food particles and bacteria, making it hard to clean them properly. Sealants put a protective layer over those teeth to keep the cavity-causing bacteria away from the surface of the tooth.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Since children between the ages of six and fourteen are the most likely to get cavities, they will benefit the most from sealants, and should receive them when their molars and premolars have come in fully. However, an adult can get sealants if their teeth are free of decay and fillings. At times a dentist might recommend a baby get sealants if their teeth have particularly deep grooves that will be prone to collecting harmful bacteria.
How are Dental Sealants Applied?
It's a very simple procedure! First your dentist will clean and dry the teeth. Then an acid solution is applied to prepare the surface of your teeth to bond with the sealant. Once that solution is removed and the teeth dried again, your dentist will paint the teeth with the sealant. The sealant will bond with the teeth and harden (some sealants use a special light to help the hardening process).
How Long Do They Last?
Depending on the type of sealant used and the wear and tear particular to each individual, sealants can last ten years or more! During your check-ups your dentist will check your sealants to see if they need any touch-ups.
Dental sealants are a safe and easy way to protect healthy teeth from decay. Ask your 95648 dentist at your next check-up if you might benefit from them.
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