Tooth decay is a common dental problem that affects people of all ages. It’s caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acid, which eats away at the enamel of the teeth. While brushing and flossing are essential for preventing tooth decay, dental sealants are another effective tool for maintaining healthy teeth. In this article, we’ll discuss what dental sealants are and how they can help prevent tooth decay.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where tooth decay occurs most often. The sealant forms a protective barrier over the tooth, preventing bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and pits of the tooth’s surface. Dental sealants are most commonly used on the molars and premolars, with deep grooves that are difficult to clean with a toothbrush.
How are Dental Sealants Applied?
The process of applying dental sealants is quick and painless. First, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Then, an acidic solution is applied to the teeth to roughen the surface, which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then applied to the tooth, where it bonds to the enamel and hardens. A special light may be used to help the glue harden more quickly.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are most commonly used on children and teenagers, as they are more prone to tooth decay due to their developing oral hygiene habits and diet. However, adults can also benefit from dental sealants, especially if they have deep grooves in their teeth or a history of tooth decay.
How Effective are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay in treated teeth by up to 80%. While dental sealants are not a replacement for brushing and flossing, they can provide an added layer of protection against tooth decay.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can last several years, but they require regular check-ups to remain intact. Your dentist will check the sealants during your regular dental exams and may recommend reapplying them if damaged or worn.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Dental sealants are safe and have been used for over 50 years to prevent tooth decay. The materials used in dental sealants are non-toxic and do not pose a risk to your health.
Can Dental Sealants Be Used on Teeth with Existing Decay?
Dental sealants are not effective on teeth that already have decay or fillings. If you have a cavity or filling, your dentist will need to remove the decay and fill the tooth before applying a sealant.
Dental sealants are a safe and effective tool for preventing tooth decay, especially in children and teenagers. They are quick and painless to apply and can provide an added layer of protection against tooth decay. If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth or your child’s teeth, talk to your dentist about whether dental sealants are right for you. With proper oral hygiene habits and regular check-ups, you can maintain healthy teeth and prevent tooth decay.
Northampton Dental Specialists Group provides dental sealants. We have over 25 years of experience and we use the latest technology to ensure high-quality dental experience. Book an appointment today.