- Dental sealants create a barrier that protect your teeth from decay
- They are ideally used to seal off the pits and fissures on your teeth’s chewing surfaces
- When applied, the sealant goes into the pits and fissures where it hardens and bonds directly to the tooth
- Dental sealants are typically used to help preserve the teeth of children and teenagers
- Sealants are designed to withstand the force of normal chewing, and to last for several years
Dental Sealants help prevent cavities by creating a barrier. They are made from plastic materials and they are placed on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars, the teeth where decay typically occurs.
Everyday brushing and flossing can help remove food particles and plaque on the smooth surfaces of the teeth. Unfortunately, toothbrush bristles can sometimes fail to reach the deep grooves and depressions on the teeth. Sealants are designed to make these areas less vulnerable; they are used to protect them by sealing them and by preventing food debris and plaque to enter.
Sealants can be easily applied by dentists. It is typically painted on to the tooth enamel where it hardens and directly bonds to the tooth. This plastic sealant can go into the pits and fissures of the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They can act as a barrier that protects the surface from plaque and from the acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. The sealant is designed to withstand the forces of normal chewing, and for as long as it is intact, it can continue to protect the teeth surface from decay. When properly cared for, the sealant can last several years before reapplication is necessary. Your dentist should check the condition of the sealant during your regular dental checkup, reapplying it when needed.
Pits and fissures can form on the surface of your teeth early in life. This makes children and teenagers obvious candidates for those who are most likely going to need sealants. Adults can also benefit from sealants as well.
To help keep your mouth healthy and to avoid tooth decay, you need to do the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste
- Floss your teeth or use an interdental cleaner daily
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Limit snacks and maintain a well-balanced and healthy diet
Ask your dentist about sealants and know whether they can be used to help you improve or maintain your teeth.