How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Dental Sealants

The American Dental Association calls sealants “raincoats” for your teeth. Sealants protect your teeth against tooth decay by providing a barrier against the bacteria and acids that create gum disease and cavities. Brushing and flossing are a big part of protecting your teeth, but your toothbrush may not get into the crevices between your teeth. Flossing isn’t always a perfect tool to remove all the food particles either. Sealants are just another tool to keep your teeth picture-perfect.

Your molars are vulnerable to hidden food particles, as it’s not always easy to keep those back teeth clean. Many people don’t floss daily, even though they should. Some don’t always brush twice daily for two minutes each time. Sealants are a thin coating placed on your teeth to protect the teeth and keep cavities from forming between cleanings. Here, we will discuss what sealants are and who is a good candidate to have them.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Dental sealants are generally applied after a cleaning. It’s an easy and painless process — the dentist applies a gel to your teeth to roughen up the surface. The gel is rinsed off, then the teeth are dried. The sealant is then applied to each tooth. The sealant bonds to the teeth because the surface is rough. The dentist hardens the sealant using a blue light. That’s all there is to it. Your dentist will have to check your sealants at your regular exams to make sure that the sealant is functioning properly and hasn’t worn away.

Who Is a Candidate For Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are usually applied to young children’s teeth when the molars first appear. Children are still learning to take care of their teeth, making the enamel vulnerable to cavities. It’s estimated that school-age children who get sealants have 3 times fewer cavities than children who don’t get sealants. Children are a good candidate for dental sealants.

Adults can also receive sealants, but the teeth have to be in good condition without decay or restoration. Insurance generally won’t cover the cost for dental sealants for adults, but will often do so for children. However, the process lasts for up to 10 years and is a good investment in your overall dental health. If it protects you from cavities and reactive dental treatment, you spend less time in the dentist’s office and less money on dental care.

Talk to Your Dentist Today

Dental sealants don’t take the place of regular cleanings and exams. You still have to do your part by brushing and flossing regularly. Make an appointment with a dentist, like a family dentist in Cary, NC, to discuss sealants as an option to protect your teeth.

Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into how dental sealants work.