At our Dental Home office located in North Charleston, SC, we hear questions about sealants from our patients often. We’ve provided some answers that should help you gain a better understanding of dental sealants and why you should consider them.
How Do Sealants Work?
Sealants are a plastic material that is placed on the chewing surface of the back teeth to help protect them from bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay. Think of sealants as a protective coating for your teeth. Bacteria produce acids that can create holes in your teeth. These holes are cavities. After a sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth.
Who Should Get Sealants?
At Dental Home, we believe children, as well as adults, can benefit from sealants. In children, their first molars appear around the age of six, and their second molars appear around age 12. Using sealants on these teeth as soon as they come in can keep them cavity-free from the beginning, which helps save time and money in the long run. Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children, as well as teenagers, are great candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
How Are Sealants Applied?
At Dental Home, our dentist will clean and dry your teeth before placing an acidic gel on them. The gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, the dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your teeth before placing the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth/teeth. The dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
Dental Sealants and Dental Hygiene
At Dental Home in North Charleston, we stress the importance of sealants and the role it plays in the protection of teeth from cavities. However, sealants are not substitutes for brushing or flossing. Patients with sealants should continue with a regular routine of brushing at twice a day and flossing daily. Patients should also take in fluoride through municipal drinking water or fluoride treatments we can provide in our offices. While sealants provide protection, fluoride strengthens teeth and helps ward off cavities.
Interested in sealants? For your more information, call Dental Home at (843) 584-7111 for an appointment!