No one likes cavities. In order to avoid cavities, a dental sealant may be an option. A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is painted onto the teeth of a patient. It is used on the molars and premolars of a patient to protect against tooth decay. There are a lot of great advantages that come with dental sealants. Below is more information about sealants, the application process, and more.
Yes! Anyone can get a dental sealant. With that said, even though adults can get dental sealants, they are often applied to kids. Molars and premolars generally come in fully between the ages of 11 and 13. At this point, a dental sealant can be considered to provide an extra level of protection. Kids are a lot more prone to cavities, so a dental sealant can mean fewer cavities and more peace of mind.
It’s no secret that kids love sweets. This includes candy, soda, and other foods that are full of sugar. This, combined with improper oral healthcare, can lead to cavities. A dental sealant will help to protect against when your kids eat sugary foods and when they “forget” to brush and floss.
Some dentists provide dental sealants for baby teeth as well.
Molars have tiny fissures in them that are so small that even a single bristle from a toothbrush can’t get in. These fissures are tough to clean and very deep. While fluoride can help with these areas, it may not be enough. A dental sealant can provide additional support. With a dental sealant, it is much more difficult for plaque and food to get into vulnerable areas of a patient’s teeth.
The application of a dental sealant is easy and painless. First, the dentist thoroughly cleans the teeth of the patient. They make sure the premolars and molars are especially clean, as these are the teeth that have deeper grooves and need the most protection. Paste and a rotating brush will be used on these teeth. After this, the teeth of the patient will be washed and dried.
An acidic solution will then be placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This is only done for a few seconds, as this is enough time to clear away bacteria. The teeth are then rinsed again and dried off. The surface of the tooth is rougher at this point, which helps with the placement of the sealant. Once the sealant is placed, a hardening light is used. This turns the sealant into a hard plastic coating. The color of the coating can be changed to ensure it matches with the teeth. As soon as the process is complete, patients are able to eat like normal.
Dental sealants are extremely durable and effective. They have been used for decades and have been thoroughly researched over the years. This research has proven that they are very beneficial when it comes to preventing tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
Sealants are long-lasting and may last as long as 10 years. When your child or you visit the dentist for regular checkups, the dentist will check to ensure the sealant hasn’t worn down or chipped.
While sealants help with the chewing surfaces of teeth, the rest of the teeth are still at risk for cavities. Fluoride use is recommended, and proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing are a must.
Many people are surprised to find that dental sealants are often covered by insurance providers for patients under the age of 18. As an adult, though, the chances of coverage may be lower. Speak with your insurance provider about coverage for dental sealants.
Even though dental sealants help a lot with the prevention of cavities, they aren’t perfect and the teeth of patients that receive them aren’t invincible. Plaque and bacteria are still a concern, as are cavities. It’s extremely important for patients that receive dental sealant treatment to continue to brush, floss, and rinse twice a day, every day. It’s also best for the patient to avoid sugary foods.
While sealants help with cavities, patients are still at risk for gum disease. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing will also decrease the chances of gum disease and other oral health issues.
If your child has received dental sealant treatment, you still need to stay on top of them about brushing, flossing, and rinsing. This is not an excuse to relax when it comes to their oral healthcare. Lead by example, and let them know that you are brushing, flossing, and rinsing as well. Also, make sure you are taking your child to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will be able to not only check to ensure the sealants look okay but also ensure your child hasn’t developed gum disease, decay, or any other oral health issues.
If you are curious about sealants, contact Oxboro Dental. We can discuss the process and advantages in greater detail with you. From there, we can schedule an appointment for your child or you to have a dental sealant placed.
Oxboro Dental provides a wide range of oral healthcare services. This ranges from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and everything in between. If you have a damaged tooth, we can provide dental bonding, veneers, and dental crowns. For missing teeth, we offer bridges, dental implants, and dentures. If you are looking for a regular cleaning and checkup, we’d be happy to schedule you for one. Our dentists are able to provide cleanings, x-rays, visual exams, and more.
For questions about prices, insurance, appointments, or anything else, reach out to our office today. We’ll be able to answer questions you have and set you up with an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with your oral healthcare needs.