Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

What Are Dental Sealants and Who Needs Them?

East Area Dental explains everything you need to know about dental sealants.

Taking proper care of your mouth is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Proper brushing and flossing is crucial to keeping decay and gum issues at bay. But sometimes, we need a bit of extra help and that’s where your dentist comes in.

At East Area Dental, we want every patient set up for a lifetime of good oral health. Sometimes, we need to add some extra tools to help. Dental sealants can be a great addition to an already good oral hygiene plan to add extra protection where we need it most.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are essentially a thin, plastic coating that gets painted onto the chewing surface of teeth.

Why do we use dental sealants?

We use dental sealants on the back teeth that are hardest to reach, the molars and premolars. Not only are these teeth harder to clean because they are so far back in our mouths, but they also have grooves and ridges that can be difficult to clean properly. When food particles are left on these teeth, they are susceptible to acid and bacteria attacks, which can then lead to decay.

Who are candidates for sealants?

Sealants are most commonly used for children and teens, but anyone can be a candidate for dental sealants on their molars and premolars. We recommend children get sealants as soon as their molars and premolars fully erupt. In some instances, we may recommend sealants on baby teeth. This is recommended if children have deep grooves on baby teeth or if we believe their need an extra layer of protection to fend off decay.

How do you apply sealants?

The good news is applying a sealant is an easy and pain-free process. In fact, it only takes a few minutes so you don’t even have to worry about adding a lot of extra time to your appointment. We start by properly cleaning the teeth to ensure all debris is removed. Then we rinse and dry the teeth before applying a solution that will roughen the chewing surface just enough to create the correct bonding surface for sealant. Once that is rinsed and your teeth are dried, we apply the sealant, much like painting onto the tooth. Once dried, it will harden to create a seal around the surface of the tooth. Sometimes we use a special light to speed up the hardening process.

How long do sealants last?

Today’s sealants typically last around 10 years, especially if you take proper care of your teeth. We’ll check their condition at every check-up and replace or repair as needed if we notice any chips or wear in them. It is important that you continue to take proper care of your smile, even after the sealants are applied.

The sealant is an extra layer of protection but does not take the place of good oral hygiene. Ensure you maintain a proper oral care routine by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once, while also keeping all check-ups with your dentist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *