Dental sealants are a great way to help protect our teeth when brushing and flossing just aren’t enough. After all, even the most diligent brusher can’t get 100% of the bacteria and germs that can develop in the mouth.
Sealants offer an extra layer of protection to not only keep teeth clean but to protect them from decay, germs, and bacteria. They are most often made of thin plastic or another dental material. Most often, they are placed on the back molars of children when the adult teeth first come in. This helps them to resist decay as they are more likely to form cavities due to the grooves in the teeth.
Anyone can get a sealant applied to their teeth. The general rule is the sooner, the better, though even adults who want to protect their teeth from further decay can benefit from having a sealant placed on their teeth, even later in life.
The important thing is taking the first step and seeing a dentist near you about protecting your teeth. We can’t control everything, but a sealant will help when brushing and flossing aren’t enough.
Luckily for children and adults, applying a sealant to the teeth is a painless procedure that normally doesn’t take very long at all.
Like most dental services, the process of applying a sealant begins with a thorough examination of the teeth. Depending on the shape of the tooth and whether or not there is any buildup, it may need to be cleaned first. Most of the time, a gentle cleaning only takes a few minutes, as compared to a full teeth cleaning.
Once this is done, the teeth that are to be sealed are rinsed thoroughly, dried, and then coated in a special solution that allows the sealant to adhere better. The teeth are then cleaned and dried again.
The actual sealant is then applied, much like applying paint or nail polish. It is thinly painted onto the teeth and, after about a minute or so, hardens to a solid finish. This forms an invisible barrier that helps protect teeth from future damage.
If you’re worried about protecting your or your child’s teeth, start today by asking your local dentist if they offer sealants as part of their dental services.