Sealants are an effective procedure used in dentistry to prevent cavities from forming. If your dentist recommended for you or your child to receive one, you may have some questions about what they are and why they’re important. Following is an overview of what dental sealants are and why they’re important.
How Do Sealants Work?
Sealants have been proved to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay. In fact, in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released data that stated that young children without sealants have almost three times as many cavities as children with sealants. There is also data that shows sealants reduce the risk of decay by 80%.
Sealants work as a block for the teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria can live in your mouth or enter through leftover food or because of bad oral hygiene. This bacteria produces acid that then causes cavities. However, sealants will block that bacteria from ever settling on your teeth, effectively preventing tooth decay.
Who Can Get Sealants?
While both children and adults can receive sealants, the earlier someone gets them, the better. Molars usually break through between the ages 6-12, so it’s most ideal to seal them as soon as they come through so they’re cavity-free as soon as possible. This will help prevent cavities from the get-go and save time, money, and unnecessary dental fillings.
How Are They Applied?
The process of applying sealants is quick and pain-free. The dentist will first clean and dry the tooth and apply a gel onto it that prepares the surface for a sealant. The gel will then be rinsed off and a sealant will be painted on to the grooves of your teeth.
They will then use a special blue light to try the sealant and make sure it hardens correctly. That’s it!
How Long Do They Last?
If you take care of your sealants, they will easily last for several years before they need to be replaced. If you maintain a proper oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist twice yearly, you’ll maximize the amount of time they stay put.
At your yearly appointments, your dentist will check to make sure that they’ve stayed in good condition and don’t need to be repaired. If they do fall off or crack, your dentist will be able to replace them for you.
Contact DentArt Today
By visiting our trusted dentists twice a year, you’ll be able to know if sealants would be right for you or your child. Our dentists will assess the state of your teeth to see if they are at risk of decaying. Getting bi-annual routine cleanings ensure that your smile is as clean and healthy as possible.
If you still have questions, our dentists in the West Loop will be able to address your concerns in person or over the phone. To schedule an appointment for quality dental care at our dental office, give our team a call today!