Tooth decay is a key dental concern across the globe. According to research, there’s a high chance of developing at least one cavity in your lifetime. Fortunately, you can restore your tooth’s health using dental treatments like a root canal, fillings, and dental crowns.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental assessments are crucial to maintaining healthy teeth and mouth. As part of your preventive care, your dentist can recommend dental sealants, especially for children and teenagers.
If your dentist has mentioned dental sealants, you might be curious about what to expect. This article answers the top five frequently asked questions about dental sealants:
Dental sealants are thin coatings applied on your teeth’s chewing surfaces to prevent cavities. Sealants can be white, clear, or slightly tinted to give them a natural appearance. It means that they are impossible to notice when eating, brushing, or laughing. They are common on the back teeth – molars and premolars.
Usually, your back teeth have tiny grooves and pits, which aid in chewing and grinding food. Food particles and other debris can still get trapped in these areas, leading to plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup in the mouth even with thorough brushing and flossing. With time, these deposits erode the tooth’s enamel and irritate the gums, leading to decay and gum infections.
Your dentist can apply dental sealants to prevent and discourage plaque and bacteria from gathering on the teeth. Sealants smoothen out the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, making it harder for food debris and plaque to get trapped. Even if food particles get trapped, they are easy to brush off.
Keep in mind that a sealant is only a part of preventive care. You’ll still need to brush and floss daily. Additionally, you should visit your dentist twice yearly for checkups and cleanings.
Typically, dental sealants are ideal for everyone, especially those at a higher risk of cavities. However, they are for children and teenagers who are more prone to cavities.
Experts recommend applying dental sealants on your child’s back teeth as soon as they erupt. Please note that you can’t apply a sealant to a tooth with existing cavities or decay. Visit a dentist near you to determine whether dental sealants are right for you.
Dental sealants are easy, quick, and painless. The dentist begins cleaning the teeth that require sealants. It is important to prevent trapping bacteria and plaque under the sealant. Next, the tooth is dried, and absorbent material is put around it to keep it dry.
An acidic agent is applied to the chewing surface to roughen it. The tooth is cleaned and dried again. Next, the dentist applies the sealant material on the chewing surfaces. A special light or laser hardens it. The procedure repeats for other teeth.
On average, a dental sealant lasts for 5-10 years. But of course, the longevity of your sealant will depend on how well you care for it. While dental sealants are strong and durable, they are bound to wear down or get damaged over time. It’s therefore important to have them checked for damage regularly.
A damaged sealant can trap bacteria and plaque, causing decay. Contact our dentist in Plano, TX, for re-application if your sealant is damaged. Also, use these tips to care for your sealants and mouth for excellent oral health:
Are you interested in dental sealants in Plano, TX? Contact SS Dental to book your appointment.