Dental sealants are a great preventative measure for keeping your teeth healthy. They are low in cost and non-invasive, resulting in an easy, pain-free and effective procedure.
Dental sealants are a thin plastic cover that is usually placed on the chewing surface of molar and premolar teeth. This covering creates a barrier protecting the teeth from plaque and/or debris that cause tooth decay. Because they are in the back of the mouth, the molars and premolars are hard to reach and therefore difficult to clean. Even with diligent brushing, your toothbrush may leave behind traces of plaque in the grooves and pits of the back teeth. Dental sealants minimize the potential for tooth decay or other problems on these teeth.
Dental sealants are suitable for adults and children. They are commonly recommended for adolescents as soon as the permanent molars have fully come in. Sealants can also be recommended for baby teeth.
To apply a dental sealant, the teeth receiving the sealants must first be cleaned thoroughly. They are then rinsed and dried to prepare them for a special solution. The solution helps the sealant to bond with the tooth. Once this solution has dried, the dental sealant is painted onto the tooth surface. The sealant must be hardened using either a special curing light or left to harden on its own, depending on the type. Once dry, the sealant is ready to be used as it has become a hard plastic coating on the tooth.
Dental sealants do not require special care beyond regular brushing and flossing. It’s recommended that a healthy, balanced diet is kept to maintain the health of the sealants as well as natural teeth. It’s also important to continue to visit the dentist regularly (every six months) so that he or she can check on the wear and tear of the sealants.