Dental sealants are a preventative treatment to protect children’s teeth from decay. They are most effective on permanent molars that have not yet erupted, but can be used on adult teeth as well.
The tooth surface to be sealed is thoroughly cleaned and dried. An acidic gel is then put on the chewing surfaces of the tooth to roughen up the surface and help the sealant bond.
Dental sealants are a preventative treatment that is designed to protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth from decay. The back teeth have deep pits and grooves that facilitate the process of chewing, but these areas can also trap food particles and cavity-causing bacteria. Brushing is not effective in these areas, and fluoride does not reach all the way into the grooves to help ward off decay.
Our team will clean and prepare the surface of your tooth before applying a thin coating of the plastic sealant to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. The procedure is quick, painless, and effective at preventing decay in the deep grooves of your molars.
A sealant functions much like the rubber gaskets on a car tire, blocking out food particles and bacteria from the tiny grooves in your teeth. With regular brushing and flossing, sealants can last for several years before need of renewal.
We typically recommend sealants for children to protect their molars from decay, but adults can benefit from them as well. Anyone with a history of cavities in their back teeth, or those who have a hard time maintaining consistent oral hygiene habits, may be especially at risk for decay and would benefit from the protective barrier that sealants provide. We recommend that you schedule an evaluation to see if dental sealants are right for you.
Prevents Damage to the Enamel
Dental sealants create a protective barrier that prevents plaque and food from coming into contact with the enamel. The sealant is a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars and premolars). These deep grooves and pits are typically difficult to clean with a toothbrush, so they can harbor plaque which leads to cavities.
Brushing and flossing are essential to maintain optimal oral health, but it is hard for children to reach all areas of their mouths. The tiny grooves and depressions on their molars and premolars are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, especially if they are difficult to brush. Sealants give children a little extra help against decay and protect their young smiles.
To apply dental sealants, a tooth must be thoroughly cleaned and dry. Then, the chewing surface of the tooth is roughened up with an acidic gel to prepare it for the sealant. The tooth is then rinsed and dried again. Finally, the dentist applies the liquid sealant to the tooth and uses a blue light to harden it.
Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they erupt, which is usually around ages 6 and 14. However, primary teeth that have deep grooves and depressions can also be sealed if they are at risk for tooth decay.
Prevents Plaque Buildup
Dental sealants prevent the buildup of plaque, which can cause tooth decay. They work by creating a thin plastic barrier over the chewing surfaces of teeth that can block out food particles and bacteria. This can reduce the frequency of brushing required and help protect teeth from decay.
The procedure is quick and painless. First, the chewing surface of each tooth is thoroughly cleaned and isolated with cotton or an absorbent material to keep other teeth from touching it while the sealant sets. Then, a thick liquid called an etching solution is applied to the surface of each tooth that will receive the sealant. This process roughens the chewing surface, which helps the sealant adhere to it. The etching solution is then rinsed off and the tooth is dried with a towel. Then the tooth is painted with the sealant, which is then hardened with a curing light.
Sealants are most often used on children’s teeth as their permanent molars and premolars come in, but can be beneficial for adults who have deep grooves or pits in their back teeth. However, it is important to schedule regular dental visits every six months so that your dentist or hygienist can monitor your oral health and make treatment recommendations as needed.
Dental sealants do contain bisphenol A (BPA), but experts agree that the amount is low enough to not be a concern. It is also worth noting that people get much more exposure to BPA from eating food wrappers, using a water bottle, breathing in air and getting cash from a bank receipt than they do from sealants.
Dental sealants work like raincoats for teeth, protecting them from food particles and bacteria. When these bacteria come into contact with leftover food, they produce acids that can erode and pit the surface of your teeth, leading to cavities. Sealants act as a barrier to prevent these acid-producing bacteria from reaching the vulnerable parts of your teeth and causing damage.
Dental sealants are typically placed on molars and premolars in the back of your mouth. These are the teeth that are responsible for chewing and crushing your food. These teeth have deep grooves, also called pits and fissures, that help them carry out these tasks. While brushing and flossing can remove some of the food stuck in these grooves, they cannot always reach all of it. Sealants protect these difficult-to-reach areas by creating a thin, plastic coating that covers the tooth’s surface.
Sealants are a quick and painless procedure. First, the tooth that will be sealed is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Then, an acid solution is applied to the tooth’s surface to roughen it up, which will help the sealant bond better. After the tooth is rinsed and dried again, the liquid sealant is painted onto the tooth and cured with a special light.
Dental sealants are a great addition to your oral hygiene routine. They provide an extra layer of protection against decay, and they are especially effective on children’s teeth. However, it is important to note that they are not a replacement for regular brushing, flossing and visits to your dentist for dental cleanings and checkups.