Dental Sealants And Their Benefits

Brushing and flossing on a daily basis are the best ways of ensuring good dental hygiene.  For this reason, dentists and health experts recommend brushing at least twice a day for both children and adults.  Parents are advised to supervise little ones during brushing and flossing to ensure the brush correctly.  However, no matter how well children floss or brush, sometimes it is almost impossible to clean the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of individual teeth, especially on the back molars.  As a result, bacteria and plaque can build up in these grooves to cause tooth decay.

Nevertheless, dentists can help reduce this risk by applying dental sealants, which are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars to act as barriers for tooth decay.  They protect the enamel of the teeth from acids and plaque. Here are a few details about dental sealants:

Who needs them?

WebMD suggests that children and teenagers are more likely to have grooves in their premolars and molars, making them ideal candidates for sealants.  However, adults who do not have fillings or tooth decay in their molars may also benefit from sealants.  Parents are advised to have sealants applied to their children's teeth as soon as premolars and molars grow in. This can help protect young teeth from developing cavities for up to ten years.

How are sealants applied?

The application of sealants is painless and takes the dentist only a few minutes to complete.  The hygienist first cleans the teeth to be sealed thoroughly and then dries them using an absorbent material.  An acidic solution is applied to the chewing surfaces to roughen the tooth material and promote a secure bond with the sealant.  After the sealant application, the teeth are rinsed and dried.  The sealant is allowed to harden, creating a barrier on the enamel.

How are sealants maintained?

A sealant can withstand the strength of normal chewing, but it needs to be checked regularly for chipping or wearing away.  The dentist can replace a sealant when necessary to ensure continued protection from decay.  

Even though a child has a sealant, he or she should still care for his or her teeth properly. Dental professionals advise young patients to maintain healthy teeth by brushing with fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth using floss and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

Contact a dentist like Dr. James A. Dempsey to learn more about dental sealants. 

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.



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