What Are Dental Sealants and Who Should Get Them?
Preventing tooth decay begins with the basics like brushing and flossing. The problem is, cavities can be persistent. This is where dental sealants can help, acting like a protective barrier over the teeth. They are safe and cost-effective.
Dental sealant is a thin plastic film in liquid form so that it effectively coats the teeth’s surface. It is painted usually on the premolars and molars (the back teeth), effectively coating every depression and groove. It then dries up to become a hard protective shield against bacteria as it seals out food particles and plaque thus preventing tooth decay.
Who should get dental sealants?
Children ages 6 to 14, being typically prone to developing tooth decay, are the top most candidates. However, anyone who wants to protect their teeth, even if without decay, may benefit from dental sealants especially those who wish to protect their permanent molars. Related: What Causes Sensitive Teeth and How Can I Treat Them?
Can babies get dental sealants?
Dentists may recommend so only when absolutely necessary especially if it would mean ensuring healthy baby teeth so that they are not lost too soon. Healthy baby teeth lead to proper spacing when it is time for the permanent teeth to come out.
How is dental sealant applied?
The procedure is easy and painless. Your dentist simply paints it onto the enamel, bonding it straight to the tooth along depressions and grooves including fissures. The plastic resin then hardens to keep acids and plaque away to help prevent decay and will continue to do so while the sealant is there, intact. The protection sealants provide could last up to 10 years. Reapplication only becomes necessary depending on its condition determined during regular visit to your dentist.
The application process begins with a thorough cleaning of the tooth to be sealed. The tooth is then dried and applied with an acid solution to make the surface coarse (so the sealant could bond well) then rinsed and dried again. The tooth enamel is then painted with the sealant that hardens on its own but in some instances, curing light is used to accelerate the setting.
Our molars are very susceptible to dental carries. Given the structure of the teeth’s chewing surfaces, they the most used yet they are not as protected giving plaque accumulation a chance. You can protect your molars with this modern approach to facilitate prevention and early intervention against dental carries. See your dentist now and ask about long-term protection dental sealants before decay ruins your eating warriors.