Sealants: Sealing Out Tooth Decay

While regular brushing and flossing are effective in keeping your breath fresh and clean, this may still not be enough to make your teeth perfectly healthy. The molars, especially the ones at the back of your mouth, have natural ridges and depressions that can also store food particles. If you do not clean your teeth right, there may still be leftover food trapped in your mouth, making you vulnerable to bacteria build up.

To avoid this, consider taking extra precautions like dental sealants to defend your teeth from all the hazards. This simple dental procedure has been proven to reduce the risk of tooth decay by 80%. According to a research, children who do not have sealants have three times more chance of developing cavities. Read on below to find out more about this:

What are sealants?

It can be a real challenge to reach the nook and crannies of your teeth, which is why some people go to extra lengths to protect their chompers with sealants. Dental sealants are protective plastic coatings that dentist’s place on the occlusal surface of your back molars, which are basically the teeth you most use for chewing.

How do they work?

These back molars and premolars are the ones that are susceptible to more damage.  Sealants cover the fissures and grooves, resulting to a smoother surface that will be easier to clean and brush. They basically act as raincoats, protecting your molars from cavity-causing bacteria. As you know, leftover food particles produce acids that can destroy teeth.

Can anyone get sealants?

Both children and adults can get dental sealants. Physicians advise to get it as early as you can so that the teeth are already protected. Usually, this is done when a child’s primary teeth have erupted during their early teen years. It is less common for adults to get sealants but this can still be done if there are molars that need extra protection.

How are they placed on teeth?

This is a quick and painless process that doesn’t require drilling or anesthesia. First off, your teeth will be cleaned and polished to remove leftover dirt. Then, the sealant material is applied to surface of the tooth. It is then cured with special light so that the sealant will be bonded to your tooth’s enamel. Your dentist will evaluate if the bond has hardened and if there are adjustments that need to be made.

There is no pain involved in this simple dental procedure and you can expect to be out of the dentist office in just a couple of minutes. Because it is non-invasive and quick, even children can get the procedure done.

How long does it last?

A properly applied dental sealant should last you many years. Of course, proper oral hygiene still needs to be practiced to extend the lifespan of the sealants. While this is considered to be a long-lasting procedure that effectively protects teeth, there is still a great risk of ruining the sealant-covered molar if you neglect your teeth.

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