Have you ever wondered why you still end up with cavities in spite of maintaining good oral hygiene? You might be brushing, flossing even and following all instructions your dentist has asked you to, yet you develop a small cavity. Or, you do not have any cavity so far and would like to ensure that one does not develop later on. Here’s one of the ways you can!
What are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are a thin protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. The coating covers the deep pits and fissures of the teeth, protecting them from decay. You know how a raincoat keeps you protected during a storm? A sealant acts in a similar way. It shields your teeth from bacteria and acid, ultimately preventing development of cavities.
Why get Sealants?
Even though brushing and flossing work best in preventing cavities, cleaning every nook and cranny of your teeth is not always easy. This is even more applicable to the back teeth used for chewing. Your molars have an uneven upper surface with pits and fissures, making these areas apt for plaque and bacterial accumulation, thereby increasing the risk of developing cavities.
Sealants give you an added protection. In the long run, it can save time and money. Fillings and crows used to restore decayed teeth can be avoided.
Who can get Sealants?
Sealants are recommended for children as soon as the permanent molars erupt (approximately around 6 years and 12 years) . This does not mean that adults cannot benefit from sealants. Adults who have deeper pits and fissures on their teeth and who are at an increased risk of developing cavities can benefit from sealants. It is never too late to protect your teeth. Please ask your dental practitioner if sealants are a good option for you and your family.
How are Sealants Applied?
The procedure is painless and quick. We start with a clean dry tooth surface. To enhance the bond of the sealant, the tooth surface is roughened slightly with a gel, which is then rinsed thoroughly and the tooth surface is dried again. The sealant is applied onto the tooth surface. Sealants have a flowable consistency to begin with a special light will be used to harden the material.
How long do Sealants last?
Sealants can last for a long duration of time. One however, needs to get regular checkups done to ensure that the sealant has not worn out or chipped away. It can also be repaired easily.
Do Sealants replace brushing, flossing or dental checkups?
Absolutely not. Nothing can replace the traditional methods of maintaining a good oral hygiene i.e. brushing and flossing. Your daily routine of brushing twice a day should be continued along with flossing once daily. Additionally, regular dental visits are necessary for a complete analysis of your oral condition. Your dentist can recommend treatments and other measures as and when needed so that you can have an optimum oral health.