We all want to protect our teeth. Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at-home dental care routine to help protect your teeth. However, even when practicing the best oral health care, cavities can still arise. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some shield that could protect your teeth? That is what a dental sealant is – a shield. Dental sealants are thin, clear coatings that seal over the narrow grooves found on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars and premolars). The liquid sealant on the teeth penetrates the teeth grooves and is hardened by ultraviolet light resulting in a bonded shield over the tooth’s enamel.
What are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
There are many benefits to sealant treatment. We often use sealants for children, but adults who are more prone to decay can also benefit from sealants.
Protection: The most significant benefit of dental sealants is protecting your teeth from bacteria and decay. The deep grooves and depressions, commonly known as pits and fissures, can easily trap food and bacteria. Because the grooves are in the hard-to-reach areas, it is often difficult to thoroughly brush away any leftover debris. That debris, in turn, forms bacteria that can eat away at your enamel, causing cavities. Dental sealants seal and protect those grooves, which helps prevent and protect your teeth from cavities.
Durability: Once we have fully bonded the dental sealant to your teeth, you don’t have to worry about them. They are super durable and strong. Dental sealants can withstand the force of your natural bite, so you can go about biting, chewing, and eating like normal. Plus, they can last years.
Appearance: Dental sealants are natural-looking. The sealant material is clear or white and blends in naturally with your teeth. No one will ever notice that you have sealants.
Cost-Efficient: The best benefit for parents is dental sealants save money down the line. Because they protect your child’s teeth, they are less likely to get cavities, thus preventing you from spending money on more costly procedures.
What is the Dental Sealant Process?
The good news is that the dental sealant process is quick and affordable. Following your dental exam, Dr. Hunt will clean and dry your teeth to ensure we will seal in no leftover debris with your tooth. The unique “shampoo” solutions he uses will roughen up the outside surface of your teeth. This will help the sealant adhere to your teeth. He will then paint on the dental sealant to the chewing surface of each tooth. He will bond them to your teeth using a special blue curing light.
Caring for Your Sealants
After we place your sealants, they will most likely feel slippery. However, after you eat for a little bit, the sealants will begin to feel like your natural teeth. With good oral health care, your sealants can last up to 10 years. If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, your sealant may not last as long. You can care for your sealants as you would your natural teeth. You can brush and floss your teeth like normal. Remember to practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Use floss and mouthwash at least once a day as well.
Dental sealants aren’t just for kids anymore. Both children and adults are good candidates for sealants. If you are interested in adding an extra layer of protection to your teeth, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hunt at Personal Care Dentistry in Roseville.