A Guide To Dental Sealants: Procedure, Benefits, and Care

A Guide To Dental Sealants: Procedure, Benefits, and Care

Dental caries or cavities are common dental problems among millions of children and adults. In most cases, cavities are caused by poor dental hygiene, poor diet, bruxism, and taking certain medications. Fortunately, dental sealants can help lower your risk of developing tooth decay or cavities. In this article, let’s discuss what dental sealants are, how they work, how they are applied, and the benefits they offer.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Tooth sealants are thin, clear, or tooth-colored plastic coatings applied to the molar and premolar teeth’ chewing surface. These surfaces have tiny pits and grooves that trap bacteria and food debris, and they are difficult to clean, leading to plaque and tartar buildup.

When not cleaned promptly, these deposits release toxins that erode teeth and irritate the gums, causing tooth decay and gum disease. If not treated promptly, these problems can lead to further issues like tooth loss, bone loss, and oral discomfort.

How Dental Sealants Protect Teeth

Applying dental sealants on the back teeth covers their pits and grooves, creating a protective barrier against bacteria and food debris. The sealant also creates smooth chewing surfaces that are easier to clean. This significantly lowers your risk of tooth decay.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are primarily recommended for children and teenagers who are at a greater risk of decay due to regular snacking and inadequate oral hygiene. The ADA recommends applying sealants for children as soon as their permanent teeth come in. However, adults with healthy teeth can also get dental sealants.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Applying dental sealants is easy, painless, and quick. Below is a typical dental sealant procedure:

  • Preparing the teeth. The dentist cleans your teeth to remove debris, bacterial plaque, and tartar. This helps prevent trapping these deposits under the sealants, which can cause decay.
  • Drying and isolating the teeth. The dentists will then dry and isolate the tooth to avoid contamination during the sealant application.
  • Etching the teeth. The dentist then applies an etching solution to roughen the tooth for easier bonding. Then the tooth is cleaned and dried again.
  • Applying sealants. The dentist will apply the sealant material to the tooth’s biting surfaces, where it bonds with the enamel. The dentist can use a special light to harden the sealants for a strong bond.

Advantages of Dental Sealants

Some of the benefits of applying dental sealants include:

  • Reduced risk of cavities. One of the key benefits of applying sealants is that it creates a protective barrier against bacteria and food debris, significantly lowering your risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Cost-effective. Compared to many dental procedures like dental fillings, dental sealants are relatively cheaper to apply. Since they protect you against tooth damage, they save you money you would have used for future restorative treatments.
  • Durable. Dental sealants are relatively durable, protecting against decay and cavities for 5 to 10 years. Proper care is essential to keep your sealants in excellent condition for longer.
  • Safe. Dental sealant materials are safe and allergy-free.
  • Easy to maintain. Once applied to the teeth, sealants don’t require special care. You brush and floss regularly.
  • Painless. The sealant application process is non-invasive, making it pain-free. This makes them bearable to both adults and children.
  • Quick. It only takes several minutes to apply dental sealants on each tooth.

Caring for Dental Sealants

Below are tips for caring for your sealants to ensure dental sealant longevity:

  • Brush at least twice daily, at least 2 minutes at a time.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush. Be sure to replace the brush every 3-4 months.
  • Floss daily.
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid abrasive dental products.
  • Avoid hard, sticky, and sugary items.
  • Schedule routine dental checkups and cleanings.

Are You Interested in Dental Sealants in Westport, CT?

Ready to protect your family against tooth decay and cavities with dental sealants? Contact Advanced Dental of Westport, CT, to book your appointment today.

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