Cavities are the most common oral health problem. To prevent such problems dental sealants are made for use.
Dental sealants are made up of a thin, plastic coating painting on the surface of the teeth that allows chewing.
They are usually placed at the back of the teeth mostly premolars and molars for the prevention of tooth decay.
The sealants quickly bond within the depressions and grooves of the teeth and then form a protective shield over the tooth.
Sealants protect the vulnerable parts of the tooth that your dentist will place on molars and premolars especially.
Although brushing and flossing can prevent the food particles to stay in the tooth for long enough, some food can get stuck in the nooks and crannies of the back teeth that are not easy enough to remove.
However, sealants play a vital role in preventing this.
Dental sealants are most recommended for school aged children. The applied sealants protect their teeth from many dental conditions.
Sealants protect the teeth decay by sealing out the plaque and the food.
What Causes Tooth Cavities?
A cavity is also called tooth decay. It is a hole that forms in your tooth. Cavities usually start small and then become bigger with time.
Moreover, cavities are the most common oral health problem.
There are many causes as to why cavities may form in the tooth. They are:
- food particles
Too many sugary drinks or candies may cause cavities as they are the potential causes.
The back of the tooth is the part where cavities are most likely to be formed as the food and tarter are often found in the grooves and depressions of the teeth.
Reasons for Placing Dental Sealants
The chewing tooth surface of the premolar and molar teeth have grooves called fissures.
These fissures make the teeth vulnerable to decay. Some of these fissures can be deep and thus making them difficult to clean.
If such happens the plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from the bacteria attacks the enamel and damages it so that cavity can develop.
Fluoride helps to prevent such things from happening.
However, if you are looking for extra protection for your teeth then dental sealants are your go-to.
As Dental Sealants provide a seal over the enamel of the tooth it becomes almost impossible got the bacteria and plaque to attack the tooth and damage it. These dental materials provide dental care.
Your dentist will place them on the enamel or chewing surface of the teeth as these are the areas with more deep fissures.
If other teeth have grooves and pits on themselves then dental sealants are also placed on the permanent teeth, to help protect those surfaces.
In some children, the permanent molars that are in primary detention i.e, baby teeth, also have some grooves present that can benefit from the sealants.
Sealants are also placed on the adult teeth at risk for caries, on the deep grooves and fissures that usually do not have any other fillings or sealants.
Application of Dental Sealants
The process involving the application of dental sealants is as follows:
Firstly the surface of the teeth is cleaned with a paste and a rotating brush is used by the dentist.
Your dentist will then waster it with water and dry it.
Afterward, they will apply an acidic solution to the area of the tooth that is fissured.
This part creates small microscopic areas and a fine rough surface rather than the surrounding surface.
The tooth is then dried, and the liquid dental sealant is attached to the tooth.
Moreover, your dentist will harden the sealants with the help of light or sometimes by using a small two-component sealant that easily sets without light.
After the application, the dental sealant hardens and becomes a plastic varnish coating. Finally, you can chew on the tooth again.
Who can get Sealants?
Both children and adults can benefit from dental sealants. When the bacteria that lead to cavities mixes up with food particles in your mouth it produces acids.
If you do not take care of your dental and oral health, then these frequent attacks of acids can cause holes or small openings in your tooth.
After the first molars appear in your child’s mouth, sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can help keep them cavity-free.
This helps saves time and money in the long run. You can consult your dentist or pediatric dentist and discuss if this is a good option for you and your family.
What does the Research Suggest?
According to CDC, the Centers for Diseases Control, sealants prevent about 80% of cavities for 2 years after application.
Moreover, they also continue to protect about 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. They can remain in your mouth for more than 9 years if you take care of them.
Many children from the age of 6 to 11 years have a sealant. However, children who do not have sealants are 3 times more likely to have cavities than those with sealants.
After the application, you will have to visit your dentist twice a year so that they can monitor and maintain your sealants.
How Long do Sealants Last and Taking Care of Them
Dental sealants can last for 1o year if you care for them properly.
However, with time they will wear away. But every time you visit your dentist for a dental checkup, your dentist will make sure that they are still intact.
But once they are too worn down, then your dentist will reapply them if you need them.
One of the most important steps in protecting your sealants is to maintain good oral and dental hygiene.
To make sure that your sealants last for 10 years, make sure to brush your teeth after meals or twice a day and use fluoride toothpaste.
Moreover, flossing your teeth once a day is also important as it helps to remove food particles between the spaces present in your teeth and gums.
It is important to keep in mind that while wearing sealants, you should not use them for opening bottles or ripping packaging.
Another important thing to note is that you should visit your dentist bi-annually.
You can visit us for dental appointments, or regular dental checkups contact us to book an appointment.
Benefits of Sealants
There are a number of dental sealants and most often your children can benefit from them.
However, adults with tooth decay can also benefit from sealants. Usually, the dentist advises that children should get dental sealants as soon as their molars erupt.
The benefits of sealants are as follows:
They help protect the grooves of the teeth from food particles, are easy to apply as their application requires only a few minutes to dry.
Sealants are durable under the force of normal chewing and are more affordable. They are also a protective way to prevent dental cavities.
Sealants are white or clear in color, thus making them invisible while you talk, smile, or eat.
Moreover, they help prevent cavities or early childhood cavities in children.
This is one of the most beneficial ways of protecting your and your children’s teeth even from tooth decay.
There are certain pitfalls of having sealants on your teeth. Your dentist may need to reapply them if they fall out, chip, or wear away.
However, when replacing them, your dentist may need to drill down or remove the material with a scaler if it is in excess.
During the procedure, salivary BPA may increase but it tends to lower after 3 hours of application.
However, if you are concerned about BPA, then you should get treatment for tooth decay.
Sealants with different materials also exist, but many doctors recommend getting the ones with BPA.
Another problem with sealants is that at first, you might be not comfortable with your bite as it adds an extra layer to your tooth.
Fluorides vs. Dental Sealants
Many people mistakenly believe that fluoride treatments are as effective as dental sealants.
However, that is not the case, Although fluoride treatment is crucial for protecting your child’s teeth, they are most effective when used along with sealants.
According to ADA, children who get fluoride treatment than those who get both sealants and fluoride are 73% less likely to have cavities later in their life.
Fluoride treatments help to remineralize your teeth and strengthen the surface of the enamel.
However, dental sealants help to cover the deep grooves, and thus are less likely to retain plaque and food particles in your child’s mouth.
Many people both adults and children suffer from cavities and tooth decay. One of the major reasons for such dental issues is eating too much starch, sugar, and acidic foods. Mover, frequent consumption of beverages, soda, and alcoholic drinks can cause various dental issues
Naturally, there are grooves present in your teeth in which food particles can stick and if you do not take care of your dental hygiene, then it can mix with bacteria in your mouth and cause cavities and plaque. To prevent such issues in both adults and children, dentists advise getting dental sealants.
The applied sealants are like plastic coverings or varnish that cover your teeth, especially the chewing surface. They also prevent wearing down of tooth enamel. You can consult your dentist and discuss the advantages of getting sealants for you and your family.