You Should Use Dental Sealants to Protect Your Teeth from Decay: Here’s Why

Jan 01, 2021

As you already know, brushing and flossing your teeth each day is the first line of defense against tooth decay. However, not everyone can do it well, since it’s a challenge cleaning every surface of your teeth, especially the pits and fissures.

Molars and premolars are quite rough and uneven, and therefore, the perfect hiding place for food debris and bacteria. This makes it easier for bacteria to run riot and cause cavities.

Thanks to modern dentistry, our dentist in Knoxville, TN, Dr. Terrie Cribbs, offers dental sealants for adults and dental sealants for kids.

Dental sealants are an excellent safety net when it comes to preventing dental caries. They are known to reduce the risk of carries by nearly 80%.

Dental Sealants 101

A dental sealant is a clear liquid plastic (resin) that our dentist applies on the chewing or occlusal surfaces of your molars and premolars, then hardens on the deep pits and fissures. This forms a protective coating over your teeth. They can protect your teeth against decay for decades if you are taking proper care of them.

For children, sealants can help keep carries at bay, since this is the age where cavities can easily form because they are still learning how to take care of their teeth.

You can picture dental sealants as raincoats that cover the chewing surfaces of your teeth since they penetrate the pits and fissures and form a physical barrier on your teeth’s surface.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Since children and teenagers are at a higher risk of getting cavities in the premolars and molars due to the grooves and fissures, they are the perfect candidates for dental sealants. However, this doesn’t mean that adults cannot get sealants.

If you do not have cavities on your premolars and molars, you can reap the benefits of having dental sealants.

For children, it is wiser if they get sealants as soon as their permanent teeth erupt. This will help protect their teeth from dental caries, especially between six to 14 years, which are the years when they are prone to get cavities. This can help you save some money later.

How Do Sealants Work?

Cavities don’t form overnight. It’s a multifactorial process that takes time and causes destruction to your teeth through the action of weak acids that are produced by bacteria. The premolars and molars are the most vulnerable since they have deep pits and grooves.

These grooves provide a hiding place for food debris and bacteria. The weak acids that the bacteria produce dissolve the enamel and overtime holes or cavities form.

This is where dental sealants come in handy, since they adequately seal the fissures and pits, therefore protecting your teeth from the destructive acids produced by bacteria.

Why Are Sealants Necessary?

Premolars and molars have rough surfaces; therefore, they are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. At the same time, these areas are a nightmare when it comes to cleaning them. You can religiously brush, but still not clean all the surfaces.

Getting a dental sealant is necessary since they cover the deep pits and grooves, giving your teeth a smooth coating, making it easier to clean. Plus, the smooth coating is not favorable for food debris and plaque to accumulate, therefore preventing cavities.

What Materials Are Sealants Made of?

So, what are dental sealants made of? Currently, there are several options and delivery systems. Typically, modern dental sealants are made of glass ionomer or resin.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

The dental sealants procedure is a painless and fast procedure that is carried out as follows:

  • Your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned before the dental sealant is placed.
  • Then the teeth will be dried, after which an absorbent material will be placed on them to ensure that they remain dry for the remainder of the procedure.
  • Our dentist then applies an acidic solution onto the teeth’s surfaces so that they can become rough, which allows the sealant to adhere well.
  • The teeth are then rinsed and dried again.
  • Finally, our dentist applies the dental sealant on your teeth, and then your teeth are exposed to a curing light to help harden the sealant.

Dental sealants can last for a decade if you maintain them well. You can contact our dentist at TLC Dental Care if you need dental sealants.

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