Without a doubt, dental sealants must be one of the best tools that your dentist will use to help you in the prevention of cavities and tooth decay. Once tooth decay has set in, the damage is permanent. Sealants protect your teeth before the damage has been done and help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Sealants are easy to apply, require no drilling, look natural, and last a long time.
Used most often in the care and prevention of cavities and tooth decay in children and teens, sealants are very effective in doing what we want to do most preventing cavities and tooth decay before it even begins! And sealants are not only for kids sealants are very valuable in preventing tooth decay for adults too.
How do Sealants help my teeth?
Sealants are primarily applied to teeth in the back of your mouth. These are the teeth that have the most contact with the foods that you eat and have most of the chewing responsibilities. The surface of your teeth naturally begins to develop very tiny cracks and thin lines that, over time, open up just enough to let in tiny particles of food.
These tiny cracks easily collect food debris and are usually harder to clean that the flat surfaces around them. When tiny particles of food get down into these tiny cracks, it is very hard to clean them out with routine brushing, and the food helps the cracks become larger, allowing more food to come in. Over time, the food begins to break down and the sugars and bacteria eat down into the tooth and create a cavity.
Ideally dental sealants are applied before that cavity or tooth decay has set in. However, once tooth decay has begun, it is still possible to use dental sealants. Your tooth will first need to be cleaned and the cavity filled. Then the dental sealants can be applied to your tooth to prevent further decay.
How are Dental Sealants applied?
Your dentist will clean your teeth and then apply a special gel on the teeth where the sealants are to be applied. This gel is then cleaned off and your teeth are dried. The sealants are then painted onto your teeth and allowed to dry. It only takes about a minute for the sealants to dry and then you are done!
At first you will likely be able to feel the sealants with your tongue because your tongue is very sensitive to small changes in your mouth. But the sealants only create a very thin layer over the surface of your teeth and after a few days you wont even notice it anymore.
Sealants look natural so no one will notice them when you smile or laugh. Only you will know that you have sealants protecting your teeth from future tooth decay!