Our teeth have pits and grooves that are vulnerable to tooth decay because these areas trap food and are generally more difficult to clean. While proper brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always reach all of the pits and grooves of the back teeth.
We can protect teeth from decay by painting the biting surfaces of the teeth with dental sealants. A sealant quickly bonds to the biting surface of the tooth and forms a protective shield over the enamel of the tooth, thus “sealing out” plaque and food debris.
Who Should Get Sealants?
No one is exempt from developing tooth decay, but perhaps the most vulnerable patients are children and teenagers. We advise most parents to have sealants placed on their children’s permanent molars, and sometimes premolars, as soon as they erupt in order to protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of 6-15 years of age.
Some adults may also benefit from dental sealants depending on how prone they are to tooth decay.
How Are Sealants Applied?
The process of applying sealants is simple, painless and only takes a couple of minutes. Before application, each tooth treatment planned to be sealed will be thoroughly cleaned and dried to help the sealant bond to the surface. The sealant material is then painted on the enamel, bonding directly to the tooth and hardening through the use of an ultraviolet light.
Dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay for up to 10 years and we will be sure to check each sealant when your child is in for his/her routine exams.
At Legacy Dental Health, we passionately reinforce the importance of preventive dentistry to keep teeth healthy and functional. Contact us today for an appointment!