While you might be diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, sometimes you need a little extra help to protect your teeth from decay. Dental sealants might be just what you need.
Let’s dive in further to explore what dental sealants are and how they protect your teeth.
What are dental sealants, really, and how do they work?
Your dentist can paint a thin plastic coating on the chewing surface of your teeth. This thin coat is known as a dental sealant.
A dental sealant is generally applied to the biting surface of the back teeth or molars. Molars have natural grooves and depressions on the chewing surface that can be hard to brush and keep clean with traditional brushing.
No matter how often you brush, it can be difficult to really get those grooves and depressions cleared of all the plaque and bacteria that can accumulate there.
When your dentist paints on a dental sealant, the clear plastic material bonds with the grooves and depressions to form a protective, smoother covering on the enamel’s surface, effectively sealing out bacteria and plaque from entering.
Do dental sealants hurt?
When you first get dental sealants, it might feel odd or different when you bite down on the surface of those teeth. That’s because there is an extra surface layer on the tooth. However, after a few days, that weird feeling will go away.
If a tooth starts to hurt after you’ve had a dental sealant, it might indicate that the sealant has become chipped and some decay is prevalent in that area. In those instances, it’s best to reach out to your dental professional right away. And it’s equally essential to schedule those regular checkups to prevent any problems.
Who needs dental sealants?
Everyone can benefit from dental sealants, but they are particularly helpful for protecting the permanent teeth of children between ages six and 14 when they are most likely to get cavities.
Adults can benefit from sealants, particularly if they have poor oral hygiene or enamel defects that might increase the risks or make them more susceptible to tooth decay.
Even toddlers whose teeth have deep grooves that are difficult to clean can benefit from dental sealants to protect those teeth. This is particularly true since losing their primary teeth too early can affect the development and eruption of their permanent teeth.
Call Our Office Today!
Dr. Barry Buchanan is happy to answer all your questions about dental sealants and anything else related to your oral health. To explore other preventive oral health care solutions, give our office a call today.