Your life is already complicated enough, so being able to find proactive steps you can take to keep you and your children’s teeth healthy can be a relief. While brushing and flossing continue to be beneficial, cavities and other dental issues can unfortunately still arise. For this reason, you may want to consider going a step further with the application of dental sealants.
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin coating applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. It is meant to cover, shield, and protect those surfaces from the foods you consume and from the invasion of germs.
Sealants are most commonly applied to molars and bicuspids, where many surface grooves and fissures exist, providing space for bacteria to accumulate and cause decay. While daily brushing can remove some of the bacteria-causing plaque and food residue, it is difficult to reach them all. With the sealant shielding these surface grooves and fissures, there is less of a chance of that bacteria gathering and causing cavities.
Reasons You Should Consider Having Dental Sealants
Taking steps to maintain better oral health beyond daily brushing and flossing can start with dental sealants. Here are several reasons you should consider having dental sealants this year.
1. Dental Sealants Can Benefit Both Children and Adults
There is no doubt that a dental sealant can help protect your child’s teeth as they learn how to brush and floss properly. Whether your child is a teenager or younger, dental sealants can help protect teeth from cavities and other issues, and your child will need fewer dental visits and treatments. Consider getting the first dental sealants when your child’s permanent teeth begin to surface beyond the gum line around age 6.
Dental sealants can also benefit adults of all ages whose teeth have small grooves that can collect bacteria as well. Covering the tooth’s chewing surface with a dental sealant increases an adult’s chances of avoiding cavities, but it is somewhat less effective on adults than children. Ask your dentist if your teeth are good candidates for sealants.
2. Dental Sealants Help Prevent Cavity Formation Over the Long-term
Tooth decay and cavity formation are the most common dental issues for both adults and children today. Dental sealants provide a proactive way to keep these at bay over the long term. The added layer of protection interferes with the ability of bacteria to live on the tooth’s surface, further protecting your natural tooth structure.
By applying dental sealants to your child’s teeth early on, they remain protected throughout those crucial years when cavity formation most often occurs.
3. Application of Dental Sealants is Simple, Quick, and Painless
As a preventive dentistry measure, applying a dental sealant is one of the easiest and quickest actions you can take. The appointment is quick, does not require any anesthetic, or any changes to the surfaces of teeth before application.
The process is simple. Once your dental hygienist gently preps your mouth, removing any plaque and food residue and polishing your teeth, it is time for the application of the dental sealant.
Using a fine brush, the sealant will be painted across the surface of your tooth. As it seeps into the deeper pits and grooves of each individual tooth, your dental provider will shine a special light to help it harden faster and create the barrier or shield.
4. Dental Sealants are Unnoticeable
Once applied and hardened, dental sealants are unnoticeable to you or others. While the sealant itself may be clear, slightly tinted, or white, usually, you will be unable to see it when smiling or talking.
In some instances, children may be able to feel the sealants at first when they run their tongue over the tooth’s surface. However, this feeling will fade quickly, and they will forget they are even there.
5. Dental Sealants Help Reduce the Number of Appointments and Expenses
As a proactive step, dental sealants help to eliminate the need for excessive appointments to deal with tooth issues for both you and your children. In addition, you can avoid having to undergo invasive dental procedures and the expenses that go with them.
Whether you suffer from dental anxiety and are looking for ways to reduce the number of appointments you need or already have a busy schedule, dental sealants can help make life a little less complicated.
6. Dental Sealants Provide Long-Lasting Protection
On average, dental sealants will usually last anywhere between two and five years with proper care. Some last decades! Eventually, they will need repair or reapplication, but you can keep them lasting as long as possible by maintaining good oral hygiene, scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams, wearing a night guard if you are known to grind or clench, and avoiding hard and sticky foods.
Find Out How You Can Benefit from Dental Sealants by Contacting Smile Hilliard Today
Protecting your smile and helping you maintain a healthy mouth are priorities for the team at Smile Hilliard. We provide preventive care for the whole family, including dental sealants for children or adults. To find out more and if you are a good candidate for these preventative measures, contact our office today.