What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a hard plastic that covers the occlusal surface of molars and premolars. Generally they are placed in children whose adult teeth have erupted through the gums. Dental sealants help to protect those back teeth from decay.

Why do you need dental sealants?

The fissures and grooves of our pre-Mohler and molar teeth are used for chewing and grinding food. These grooves are a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria which can accumulate and cause tooth decay. The back teeth can be hard to reach during your oral care routine especially for young children, and dental sealants are a great tool to help protect those teeth as they develop in young children.

Using fluoride products during your hygiene routine can further protect the teeth. It is important to continue a good oral hygiene routine even with sealants in place. The use of fluoridated products can greatly help further prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria.

When should you have dental sealants placed?

Dental sealants are most commonly placed on children whose adult teeth have erupt it through the gums. Sealants can be placed as soon as adult molars and premolars he wraps through the gums and continue to develop. Third molars, or wisdom teeth, do not usually have sealants applied since they come in much later and are typically removed.

Even though sealants are usually used on children, adults who are at higher risk for decay can have sealants placed at any time. Sealants do we are away on their own and do not have to be removed by a dentist so if you are an adult that needs dental sealants, your dentist can replace them as they fade.

How are sealants applied and how long will they last?

Dental sealants are applied in just a few minutes. Often after a routine hygiene appointment, your dentist will use an acidic etching solution which is applied onto the occlusal surface of your posterior teeth to roughing up the enamel, allowing the sealant to adhere properly. Once the etching solution has done it’s job, the tooth is dried and the sealant is brushed on in liquid form. And ultraviolet light is then used to cure the sealant solution to create a clear, hard plastic coating.

The procedure is quick and does not require the administration of any anesthesia. Your silence can last for up to 10 years if you take good care of them and continue brushing and flossing as normal. As you are sealants wear down, your dentist can replace them as needed.

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Sealants are not an excuse to skip out on any routine cleanings or flossing. At your regular hygiene appointments, your dentist one inspect the sealants and make sure that they are in still in good condition. Integrating fluoridated products into your oral hygiene routine is another way to help prevent decay. Taking care of your teeth and teaching your children to take care of their teeth will enable you to have a happy, healthy smile for years to come!

More on Dental Sealants : Dental Sealants for Children