What is a Dental Sealant?
Regular brushing and flossing are the best methods to help prevent cavities, but it is not always easy to reach each spot on your teeth – especially your molars. Molars are your teeth in the back of your mouth used to chew much of the food you eat. The surfaces of your molars are rough, making them an ideal place for food and bacteria to hide. That food and bacteria combination is what causes cavities.
A dental sealant is a tooth-colored resin coating applied to the highly grooved areas of the teeth to help prevent tooth decay caused by bacteria. Dental sealants bond onto your teeth creating a shield of protection over your tooth enamel. Most dental sealants are applied to children’s and adolescent’s teeth, but some adults are also good candidates for this treatment because dental sealants can also resist plaque buildup. Nevertheless, children aged 6 to 14, which are the most cavity-prone ages, are typically the best candidates for this treatment. Applying dental sealants is a simple and painless process.
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What is the Life Expectancy of a Sealant?
In ideal situations, dental sealants can protect against tooth decay for up to ten years. However, your dentist should continue to check for any chips or excessive wear to the coating on the treated teeth during your regular dental exams and replace any sealants as needed. Importantly, although dental sealants provide excellent protection against biting-surface cavities, good dental hygiene is still required. That means your children still need to brush their teeth at least twice a day and avoid acidic drinks and food.
Do Dental Sealants Work?
The data indicates that dental sealants help prevent 80% of tooth cavities for a period of at least 2 years after the sealant is applied. Dental sealants will continue to protect your teeth against 50% of cavities for a period up to 4 years. Additionally, evidence suggests the sealants could last for up to ten years in patients using good dental hygiene and avoiding very sticky foods and candies.
To schedule an appointment to determine if dental sealants can help you attain better oral health, reserve a date today. Lee Dental Centers dentists and hygienists will take the necessary steps to help you maintain optimal oral health and hygiene.