What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. It is more commonly put on the back teeth such as the molars and the premolars in order to prevent tooth decay. The dental sealants will quickly bond to the depressions and grooves of your unique teeth, which will then work as a shield over the enamel.
Sealants protect the vulnerable areas of your tooth such as in these depressions and grooves. Brushing your teeth and flossing are fantastic ways to keep your teeth healthy, but it is not always possible to get into all those little spaces to make sure they are clean. Removing the food and plaque from your back teeth especially can be tricky, but a sealant solves these problems. They block the food and plaque from ever getting in in the first place, so you don’t have to worry about tooth decay in these areas.
What Are The Benefits?
One of the biggest benefits of using dental sealants is the fact that it can help to prevent oral disease. These sealants are a barrier to protect the enamel of your teeth from plaque and acid. Keep in mind that plaque contains bacteria, which can result in multiple problems for you. This is because the bacteria accumulates and grows, causing more and more issues the longer this goes on. Some of the issues that the bacteria can cause are:
- Gingivitis or early gum disease
- Advanced periodontitis – breaks down the gum tissue and the bone underneath
- Gets rid of the tooth enamel
When your enamel is gone, that’s it, it’s gone. You can’t get it back and you need it in order to protect your teeth, which is why a sealant is the best option. While cavities are not the end of the world, you still want to avoid them as much as possible because they can be painful, especially for children.
Another benefit of dental sealants is that there doesn’t need to be an existing problem for a dentist to seal the molars or premolars. This is true for both adults and children alike, and significantly decreases your risk of developing cavities. Your dentist can look at your molars, and decide whether or not there are fissures and pits in the tooth, which are signs that they need sealing. The procedure doesn’t take long, and all it involves is removing some of the plaque off the molars, and then placing a sealant material there.
As a pain-free procedure, this is a common piece of dentistry that is done on children. When their molars come through between around 5-7, a dentist will be able to look at them and determine whether they need sealing. The same can be done between 11 and 14 when the second set of molars come through. Sealing the molars is more of a preemptive move to help fight against plaque buildup, cavities, and so much more that can develop inside your mouth.