Certain people, namely children and teenagers, can benefit from a little extra protection against cavities and decay. Sure, maintaining proper oral hygiene is effective, but how many times can you remind a person to floss?? Dental sealants offer insurance for the nights they went to bed without brushing!
What Is A Sealant?
First used sometime in the 1960’s, a dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to act as a protectant. Dental sealants help prevent cavities and general decay. They are only placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth because smooth surfaces are much less susceptible to decay. The teeth towards the back of your mouth have pits and grooves to help chew up food. While necessary, they create all sorts of hard to clean crevices. When a sealant is painted over this part of the tooth it prevents food from becoming lodged in it and accordingly keeps any harmful bacteria from growing. A sealant usually lasts around ten years and is most particularly helpful in preventing decay in young children, who might not have completely developed dental hygiene habits.
What You Should Know About Sealants
If you’re considering dental sealants here are a few things to keep in mind, and possibly speak with your dentist about:
The price of a single sealant is less than the price of a single filling.
Occasionally a dentist will recommend sealants for baby teeth. Baby teeth that exhibit a risk of falling out early, usually due to decay, may need a sealant since baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth.
A sealant is applied after a tooth is cleaned and dried. The sealant itself is a liquid that hardens within a couple of minutes.
If you’re not looking to try dental sealants remember that your best defense against cavity and decay is brushing twice a day, getting an adequate amount of fluoride and flossing. Call Dr. D’Alfonso of Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry for extra help preventing decay!