Protect Your Teeth with Dental Sealants: Here’s What You Need to Know
Are you looking for a simple yet highly effective way to protect your teeth from decay? Look no further than dental sealants. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of dental sealants and provide an in-depth look at the dental sealant procedure.
At Creekside Dental, we believe in the importance of preventative dental care, and dental sealants are just one of the many ways we help our patients keep their teeth healthy and strong.
How Dental Sealants Work
To understand how dental sealants work, it’s essential first to understand the anatomy of your teeth. Teeth have deep grooves and fissures that can trap food particles and plaque, making them difficult to clean with just a toothbrush and floss. Over time, these particles and plaque can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities and other oral health issues.
Dental sealants create a barrier between your teeth, the food particles, and plaque that cause decay. The dental sealant material is a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” painted onto the tooth’s surface, effectively sealing the deep grooves and fissures.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Both children and adults can benefit from dental sealants.
- Children are at high risk for tooth decay due to several factors. First and foremost, children’s teeth are still developing and are more vulnerable to decay. Additionally, children may need to develop oral hygiene habits fully and may not brush and floss their teeth as thoroughly as they should. Children are also more likely to consume sugary foods and drinks, which can contribute to tooth decay.
- The American Dental Association recommends that children get sealants when their permanent molars come in, typically around age six. The molars have deep grooves and fissures that are difficult to clean with a toothbrush and floss, making them more susceptible to decay. By getting sealants as soon as the molars come in, children can get maximum protection against tooth decay.
- School-based sealant programs are becoming increasingly popular to provide children with access to preventative dental care. These programs typically involve dental professionals visiting schools to apply sealants to children’s teeth. This approach is cost-effective and convenient, as it eliminates the need for parents to take time off work to bring their children to the dentist. Additionally, school-based sealant programs can reach children needing access to regular dental care due to financial or transportation barriers.
- Sealants are not just for children; adults can also benefit from this preventative dental treatment. Adults are also at risk for tooth decay, and sealant material can help protect their teeth from decay-causing bacteria. Adults with no cavities in their molars or premolars are good candidates for sealants. Adults with deep grooves and fissures in their teeth can also benefit from sealants, as these areas are difficult to clean and more susceptible to decay.
- The ideal time to get adult sealants is as soon as possible after the teeth have erupted. However, getting dental sealant in teeth is always early enough; adults can benefit from this preventative treatment anytime. Dental professionals may recommend sealants for adults at high risk for tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene habits, a diet high in sugar, or a history of cavities. Adults with dental work such as fillings or crowns may also be good candidates for sealants. These restorations provide less protection against decay than natural tooth enamel. By getting dental sealant, adults can help protect their teeth from decay and avoid needing more extensive dental work in the future.
The Dental Sealant Procedure
Getting dental sealants is a simple and painless procedure that takes only a few minutes per tooth. The first step is cleaning and drying the teeth to be sealed. Once the teeth are dry, an acidic gel is applied to roughen the tooth’s surface, which helps the dental sealant bond to the tooth. The acidic gel is then rinsed off, and the tooth is dried again. Finally, the dental sealant material is painted onto the tooth, and a special curing light is used to harden the material.
Sealant Maintenance and Longevity
Dental sealants can last several years with proper care and maintenance. Brushing and flossing regularly is essential, and avoiding eating hard or sticky foods that could damage the sealant material. During your regular dental checkups, your dentist will check the condition of your dental materials and recommend a reapplication if necessary to prevent tooth decay.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
The cost of dental sealants varies depending on where you live and your dental insurance coverage. However, dental sealants are typically less expensive than filling a cavity, making them a cost-effective preventive treatment. In addition, many dental insurance plans cover dental sealants for children, and some programs also cover sealants for adults.
At Creekside Dental, we believe in the importance of preventative dental care, and dental sealants are just one of the many ways we help our patients keep their teeth healthy and strong. If you want dental sealants for yourself or your child, schedule an appointment with us today. Our friendly and experienced team will be happy to answer any questions you may
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