How Do Dental Sealants Work?

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Jun 01, 2023

Cavities or dental caries are tiny holes that develop in your teeth. Cavities often form due to acidic attacks, poor oral hygiene, snacking on sugary items, and taking certain medications. Fortunately, tooth decay and cavities are highly preventable. That’s where dental sealants come in!

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, clear or transparent coatings applied to the surface of the teeth, particularly premolars and molars, to protect them against cavities. Sealants are thin and virtually invisible, so they don’t cause an aesthetic problem.

Dental sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers due to their high risk of cavities. These age groups might not pay enough attention to proper oral hygiene and tend to snack on sugary and acidic foods, making them more susceptible to cavities.

Dental sealants are best when applied early on. Dental experts recommend applying dental sealants to children’s back teeth as soon they come in, usually at the age of 6 to 12. This ensures a lifetime of healthy and strong teeth. However, dental sealants can also benefit older adults with healthy teeth who are at a greater risk of cavities. Contact our dentist for dental sealants for adults near you.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Sealants are a type of preventive dentistry. The back teeth have tiny pits and grooves that hide food debris and bacteria and are harder to clean effectively. This makes the chewing surfaces more susceptible to a buildup of bacterial plaque and tartar.

If not eliminated promptly, these bacterial deposits release toxins that erode your teeth enamel, causing decay and cavities. These toxins can also irritate the gums, causing gum or periodontal disease. If not treated promptly, these issues can lead to further problems like tooth loss, bone loss, gum recession, and oral discomfort.

Applying dental sealants at the chewing surfaces of the back teeth covers the tiny pits and grooves. This creates a protective barrier against bacteria and food debris that cause tooth decay and cavities. Applying sealants also creates a smooth surface that’s easier to clean, decreasing your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Applying dental sealants is easy, quick, and painless. Once you get to the dental office, the dentist will examine your or your kid’s teeth to determine whether they’re eligible for the procedure. You must have healthy and cavity-free teeth to get sealants. You might need restorative treatments like fillings if your tooth already has a deep cavity.

Once your eligibility for the procedure is established, the teeth are prepared for the treatment. The teeth are first cleaned and dried to remove any bacteria and debris. Then, the dentist applies an acidic solution to the surfaces of the teeth to roughen them for easy bonding with the sealant.

The teeth are then rinsed and dried again. Lastly, the dentist applies a thin layer of sealant material to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. A special laser or light can be used to harden the bond for maximum protection. The procedure is relatively quick, as it only takes 30 minutes.

Since the procedure is non-invasive and doesn’t require anesthesia, there’s no recovery time. You can resume normal activities right away. Visit our dental office to get sealant for your teeth in South Hadley, MA.

Advantages of Dental Sealants

Some of the pros of getting dental sealants include:

  • Protection against cavities and decay. The key benefit of sealants is to protect your teeth against decay.
  • Cost-effective. Sealants are relatively cheaper since they prevent cavities and the need for future cavity treatments like dental fillings, root canals, and root canals.
  • Non-invasive and painless. Sealants don’t require enamel shaving or drilling. This makes them non-invasive and pain-free.
  • With proper dental care and habits, sealants can last for 5 to 10 years. Once damaged or worn down, sealants are easy to reapply.
  • Easy to maintain. Once applied, sealants don’t require any special care. Just maintain your regular oral hygiene practices.

How to Care for Dental Sealants

Use the tips below to care for your sealants to ensure maximum protection against cavities:

  • Brush and floss regularly.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Avoid chewing hard and sticky food and non-food items.
  • Schedule routine dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Replace your sealants if they are worn out or damaged.

Are You Interested in Dental Sealants in South Hadley, MA?

Ready to protect your and your family’s teeth against cavities? Contact South Hadley Dental Group for dental sealants today.

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