What are dental sealants and how do they protect my teeth?

Everyone knows that brushing and flossing is the best way to help prevent cavities. However, in some cases, your teeth might have more nooks and crannies on the biting surface, which can make it difficult to remove leftover food. As a result, cavity-causing bacteria can still be left behind in these microscopic cracks, even for the most dedicated brushers and flossers.

However, there is a treatment that can help protect these favorite hiding spaces from bacteria: dental sealants. Here is an overview of dental sealants and how they help protect your teeth.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a safe, painless treatment that adds a protective coating to your molar surfaces. Using dental materials designed to stick to the chewing surfaces of your molars, sealants prevent bacteria buildup in the tiny nooks and crannies that are difficult to keep clean when brushing.

How do dental sealants protect my teeth?

In a nutshell, sealants coat your teeth, so food particles have nowhere to hide. They “seal” the many tiny pits that occur naturally on tooth surfaces so that even if a tiny food particle does try to lodge there, it cannot penetrate the tooth surface and cause decay.

How are dental sealants applied to the teeth?

This is by far one of the easiest preventative dental treatments available. The typical procedure is as follows:

  1. Your teeth are first cleaned and dried.
  2. A gel is then applied to the specific tooth area. This allows your tooth to become slightly roughened so the sealant can adhere to it more firmly.
  3. The gel is removed and your tooth is dried again.
  4. The sealant is then brushed onto your tooth, allowing it to get into all those tight spots and natural pits on the surface of your molars. The sealant can be applied to your tooth surface, and even over fillings.
  5. Lastly, the sealant is then set and hardened using a safe blue light.

What are the benefits of dental sealants?

There are many benefits to getting dental sealants at your Lakewood dentist clinic, including:

  • They act as a protective shield: As mentioned, dental sealants provide extra protection for your teeth and work in hand with your brushing and flossing regime. The sealant is on the job 24/7 so that any time you eat, or any time tiny particles of food manage to get wedged in the pits of your teeth, the bacteria can’t break through that protective seal.
  • They help you avoid pain: Bacteria can cause a lot of damage to your teeth, including painful tooth decay. When left to penetrate the tooth enamel, the deeper the cavity and decay, the more chance there is for pain.
  • They help you avoid expensive restorations: Along with pain, the progression of decay leads to the need for expensive restorations – from fillings to more complicated treatments like crowns or root canals.  
  • They are a pain-free treatment: Sealants are pain-free (no numbing!) and as simple to apply as brushing your teeth. The liquid resin is applied with a brush and it takes just a few seconds per tooth.
  • They provide a boost to oral care: Nothing protects your teeth better than your daily brushing and flossing, as well as your regular dental cleanings and checkups. However, your dental sealants are like a boost to your oral care, providing an additional layer of protection to your most vulnerable tooth surfaces.
  • They are long-lasting: Dental sealants take seconds to apply and provide protection for many years. Your dentist will check your sealants at your regular dental checkups to look for signs of wear and can reapply the sealants as required.
  • They are usually a common benefit: Most dental benefits cover dental sealants up to a certain age because they are a preventative treatment and save you from costly restorations down the road.

As you can see, dental sealants offer many benefits and provide you with an extra level of preventative care.

Can dental sealants protect your child from cavities and tooth decay?

Both children and adults can use sealants to protect against cavities and tooth decay. In fact, applying sealants as soon as the first molars appear (usually by the age of 6) provides a seal to keep teeth cavity-free. This, in hand with excellent oral hygiene practiced from the first appearance of baby teeth, saves you and your child the cost and pain of dental issues down the road.

Dental sealants are by far one of the best options to complement your preventative hygiene regime. Interested in learning more about dental sealants? Give us a call at 303.732.8909 or schedule your next appointment here.

To learn more about our general dentistry services at our Lakewood, CO dental office, visit this page here.

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