What Are Dental Sealants: Here’s All You Need to Know
Oral health is an essential part of everyone’s life. If there is a problem with your teeth or gums, then your overall health may be affected. Naturally, teeth are sturdy since they are protected by enamel. However, they are not indestructible. If you do not take care of them, you can end up losing them.
For this reason, you need to do all you can to keep your teeth in the best shape possible. One way you can protect them is by getting dental sealants in Westport, CT.
Tooth sealants in Westport are a preventive dental treatment designed to help keep them strong and healthy.
Why Use Dental Sealants?
Nowadays, our foods and drinks are packed with a lot of sugar, from soft drinks to barbeque sauces. Sugar is the number one enemy to your teeth. This is because bacteria can easily digest simple sugars. In the process, they release digestive acids that slowly erode the enamel. Over time, the enamel becomes thinner and might eventually develop holes, which are known as cavities.
Although you may be trying your best to clean your teeth, sometimes the deep grooves on the teeth can make them difficult to thoroughly clean. Food can easily get stuck in the pits, causing bacteria to continue their onslaught.
As your dentist will tell you, intervention is always the best strategy against dental caries. This is why our Westport dentist recommends that you bring your children to get dental sealants before they start developing cavities.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a protective coating that our dentist near you applies on your teeth’s surface, especially the back teeth, to protect them. When applied over the teeth and hardened, it becomes like a protective coat that prevents bacteria from getting trapped in the deep grooves.
Sealants can protect your teeth for several years if you properly take care of them. It’s recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 14 get them since these are cavity-prone years.
What Are Dental Sealants Made Of?
Several sealant materials and delivery systems are available, so choosing the one you need can be quite tricky. Here are your options:
Resin sealants have changed throughout the years. Here are the four generations that have been used:
- 1st Generation. Set using UV curing
- 2nd Generation. Set using chemical curing
- 3rd Generation. Set using visible light
- 4th Generation. Contains fluoride
The main argument with resin-based dental sealants has been safety. This is because of a compound known as BPA or bisphenol-A. This compound is released when the sealant reacts with your saliva. BPA is a common compound that is found in many plastics, including water bottles.
However, sealants don’t necessarily contain BPA. They release BPA when they come into contact with saliva. The main worry is that BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen. However, BPA that is released by resins only lasts 3 hours and in minimal amounts. Therefore, there are no long-term side effects.
Furthermore, when you rinse your mouth or wipe your teeth after application, whatever little amount that is released will be removed. In short, they are still safe to use.
Glass Ionomer Sealants
These are also good sealants since they bond to the enamel and the dentine after being cleaned using a conditioner known as polyacrylic acid. They also contain fluoride, making them even better at fighting against cavities and keeping your teeth healthy.
Even after the dental sealants have become worn out, your teeth will still be protected since the glass ionomer releases fluoride.
How Long Do Tooth Sealants Last?
Tooth sealants in Westport can last for several years before they need to be reapplied. They can even last for a decade if you practice proper oral hygiene. It’s important to keep up your dental care routine after you get dental sealants. Regular dental exams and cleaning can help our Westport dentist monitor their condition to see if they can be reapplied or not.