Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars). The sealant acts as a protective barrier against the formation of dental decay by sealing off deep grooves and depressions in these teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, only about half of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have had sealants placed. These preventative measures are especially important for children whose permanent teeth may or may not have fully erupted yet. When sealants are placed, they protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars from decay, which can lead to cavities. Without them, bacteria can attack these vulnerable areas and cause tooth decay.
Placing dental sealants is not painful or uncomfortable for the child. In fact, the process is fast, simple, and painless. The dentist will simply clean the tooth to make sure it’s free of plaque and debris and then paint the sealant onto the tooth enamel. The sealant will be clear or white in color, so it won’t be noticeable to others once it’s in place. Placement doesn’t take long at all — usually around one minute per tooth. And the benefits last a lifetime!
Yes, dental sealants do protect against tooth decay because the sealant creates a barrier on the tooth that makes it difficult for bacteria to get inside and cause cavities. Although brushing and flossing are still important parts of your oral health routine, dental sealants make further preventative measures against cavities possible. The plastic-like coating helps to prevent food particles from getting stuck and causing damage inside the mouth. This means you get an extra layer of protection on top of the ones you already have with your at-home hygiene habits.
Dental sealants also protect the surfaces of your back teeth where plaque and food particles tend to collect the most, making it more difficult for you to clean those surfaces thoroughly on your own during regular brushing and flossing. The dental sealant fills in the crevices between teeth and minimizes the amount of food that can get trapped there. This makes it harder for bacteria and plaque to form and lead to decay.
If properly cared for, dental sealants can last for years. They usually need to be replaced during regular dental appointments, but it’s possible for the sealant to last up to a decade if regularly checked and cleaned.
No. The dental sealants on our teeth are thin, durable, and made from plastic polymer. This means that food particles are unable to become stuck between your teeth and the dental sealant. In fact, dental sealants are very effective for keeping out plaque and food debris. Dental sealants create a barrier that prevents bacteria from reaching the inner tooth structure. This can help prevent cavities from forming and keep teeth healthy for many years into the future.
Our staff at Woodruff Family Dental is available to assist you and your entire family in taking care of your oral health. Call (870) 972-8190 to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Come see us at 2800 Enterprise Cv, Jonesboro, AR 72401, or send us an email.