Proper brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of your teeth, but they often can’t reach into the small pits and depressions on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, allowing food particles and plaque to build up there. In these cases, we can provide a thorough cleaning and then apply dental sealants that will bond into the depressions, acting as a barrier to protect the enamel from plaque and other unwanted substances.
This problem often begins early in life, so children and teenagers are especially good candidates for dental sealants, but adults can benefit from them as well. Ask your dentist next time you visit All Star Dental.
Dental sealants are a procedure that can prevent dental decay for teeth. On top of brushing, flossing, using mouth wash, and other dental procedures, sealants can help provide additional protection from cavities. Sealants are a thin layer made up of plastic that can coat the top chewing surface of the molars. Sealants are designed to protect your chewing surfaces as these areas of the teeth are often the most vulnerable to dental decay can cavities. The natural pits in our molars are a place where food can get stuck and lead to plaque and decay.
Dental Sealants are often given to both adults and children assuming the children are old enough for their molars to have erupted through the gum line. The first molars to erupt usually appear around age six, so this is the first time dental sealants could be applied. Molars continue to erupt around age 12 and sealing them as soon as they arrive can keep them safe from cavities and dental issues down the road.
The process of applying sealants is quick, painless, and can often be done during a normal dental visit. Your dentist will clean your teeth and then apply a thin gel on your teeth. The gel is designed to make it easier for the sealant to permanently bond to the chewing surface of the molars. The gel is rinsed off and the sealant is applied to the surface of the teeth.
Dental sealants are different from fluoride treatment, and do not have any recovery time or downtime. After receiving dental sealants you can eat and drink as you normally would. However, it is recommended to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that could damage the dental sealant. In general, hard, sticky, or chewy foods should be enjoyed in moderation because they can damage your sealants as well as your teeth.
Dental sealants can last up to five years. However, the lifespan of dental sealants can vary greatly especially based on how you take care of your teeth. Poor oral care including not brushing/flossing or eating foods that damage the dental sealants can cause them to erode very quickly. It is important to see a dentist twice per year to check and make sure that your dental sealants are still working.
Most children will be recommended dental sealants when they are age 6 – 11. This is because dental decay is a serious risk for children around this age. Dental sealants are applied to the surfaces of teeth and are therefore not effective on teeth that already have fillings or crowns.
Brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist twice a year are all great ways to prevent damage to your teeth. But extra treatments like fluoride treatments and dental sealants can provide more protection. Dental sealants last five years and provide a shield around your teeth that keeps bacteria, food particles, and plaque away from your teeth. They are recommended for children and teens who have their adult molars.