Dental sealants are an essential part of oral health care. Sealants do a job brushing and flossing cannot do: they help protect the grooves in the back teeth, or molars. Everyone’s back teeth have slight grooves that we cannot floss, and even the best bristles are unable to fully reach. While we cannot reach them, food particles are still small enough to slip and get trapped, causing the potential for tooth decay, cavities, and other issues.
It is no surprise cavities and tooth decay are most prevalent in the pits and fissures of molars. Luckily, there is a simple solution in dental sealants, which we here at Life Long Dental use to help prevent dental problems like decay from forming in these spaces.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin overlay created from a plastic material. They work to block out food and prevent plaque build-up. Dental sealants fill the grooves in teeth, so bacteria and food cannot get in. The dental sealant process is routine and recommended for children between the ages of six and nine, or whenever their first set of permanent molars arrives.
What is the Dental Sealant Process?
Dental sealants are applied during routine cleanings by us. After the routine teeth cleaning, an absorbent material, such as cotton balls, is used to dry the teeth. Next, to prepare the tooth for the sealant, a liquid is used to roughen the tooth. By roughening the tooth, the sealant will better adhere to the tooth. After this step, the teeth get rinsed. Now your tooth is officially ready for the sealant. We will then carefully apply the sealant onto the tooth and let the substance solidify. A special light may be used in the hardening step.
Dental sealants are a completely painless process. The sealant is painted on with a small brush, and it can be barely felt by the patient. It only takes a few minutes to apply the solution to each tooth, as well, making the entire process quite straightforward.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants are very effective in combating plaque and tooth decay from molars. One of the primary benefits of getting them is how long sealants last on the tooth. Though dental sealants are strong, they are not permanent. Under normal use, dental sealants will need replacement every five years. We check sealants at routine check-ups for wear and tear. If necessary, replacing dental sealants is a straightforward process.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
According to the Center for Disease Control, children without dental sealants were three times as likely to develop a cavity. Dental sealants are an effective, cost-efficient solution for fighting against plaque and bacteria in the parts of your mouth that are all too easy to neglect. While they do not replace tooth-brushing and flossing, they are just as important to be mindful of as a preventative step in oral care.
Both adults and children require dental sealants, but fortunately, sealants are very affordable. Furthermore, many insurances cover dental sealants for children under 18.
If you would like to learn more about dental sealants, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Life Long Dental at (360) 633-2377 today.