In almost every area of life, it is good to prevent bad things from happening rather than reacting after the disaster strikes. This is why when it comes to dental care, we have a field known as preventative dentistry. The practice involves caring for teeth to keep them healthy and avoid diseases such as gum disease, cavities, enamel wear, etc. Preventative dentistry takes many forms and begins with simple things brushing and flossing daily, going for regular dental cleanings to getting dental sealants.
Most preventative dental treatments work by controlling the number of bacteria in the mouth in order to reduce risks such as tooth decay or gum disease. However, tooth sealants work slightly differently. Instead of controlling the bacteria in the mouth, they control how much bacteria gets into contact with the surface of your teeth.
Sealants are a thin protective plastic coat applied on the tooth’s enamel to prevent tooth decay. Once the coat is applied it will firmly bond on the tooth’s surface to create a protective barrier. While they can be used on all teeth, sealants are mostly applied on the back teeth that include the molars and premolars. This is because these teeth come with cusps and ridges that can be potential hiding spots for bacteria and plaque. The
Since dental sealants mostly target the premolars and molars, they can be used as soon as these back teeth erupt. This then means that most people will get them between 6 to 16 years as this is when permanent teeth start to set in. Our dentists at Your Family Dental have observed that the risk of developing pit and fissure decays is present in early life and this is what makes children and teenagers good candidates. However, dental sealant treatment for adults is still available for those at high risk of decay.
In some cases, sealants may be used on milk/temporary teeth if need be. Brushing and flossing may not be effective for young kids as their co-ordination skills may interfere with their ability to properly manipulate a toothbrush or floss line. And since baby teeth play a significant role in holding the right spacing for permanent teeth, sealants can help prevent premature loss of these teeth through decay.
The greatest benefit of fissure sealants is their ability to limit how much bacteria and acid reaches the tooth’s enamel. Since the coat is made from a plastic material, it creates a smooth surface on your enamel, even on pits and grooves, making it much easier to clean these areas. This added support to daily oral care routine is especially helpful for kids. The process of getting sealants is also quite basic, making it quick, painless and risk-free.
Another reason for you to consider getting dental sealants is the fact that they are very durable. Depending on how you care for your teeth, sealants can last between 5 to 10 years. To ensure longevity you are advised to go for all your check-ups and to avoid any bad habits that may wear them out like chewing on pens or opening your teeth to open bottles. But even after your sealant wears off, repair is quite simple and involves a re-application of the protective coat.
At our dental clinic in Merritt Island, F, we first make sure that the teeth being are healthy, before applying the sealant. If the tooth is free from any disease, our dental hygienist will clean and dry it and then an etching solution will be applied to slightly roughen the enamel, so that the sealant adheres well onto the enamel. After the etching solution is used, the area will be rinsed and dried once again before the sealant paint is finally applied. A curing light may be used to help the sealant dry and bind faster. The procedure is usually done under one appointment and afterwards you can go home and continue with your everyday activities.
For more questions on dental sealants, you can book your dental appointment with us today and our friendly and experienced team will be happy to attend to you.