At our Noble Dental offices, we hear questions about sealants from patients every day. We’ve assembled answers that should help you gain a better understanding of dental sealants and why you should consider them.
How do sealants work?
Sealants consist of a plastic material that is placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from bacteria and acids that contribute to tooth decay. Think of sealants as a protective coating for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in 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?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. In children, their first molars appear around the age of six, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, 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 and 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 Noble Dental, 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 once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. The dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
Dental sealants and dental hygiene:
At Noble Dental, 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 dental sealants should continue with their regular dental hygiene routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. They should also continue to take in fluoride through municipal drinking water or fluoride treatments we can provide in our offices. While sealants do provide protection, fluoride strengthens teeth and helps ward off cavities.
Interested in sealants? For your more information, call Noble Dental at (561) 440-3433!