The Protective Power of Sealant
Sealants keep teeth cavity-free by providing an effective barrier against sugary foods and bacteria. The back teeth (molars) contain ridges and indentations that even the best brushing may not reach.
As a result, these are prime hot spots for tooth decay. Dental sealants help to protect these teeth from decay – especially important when your child gets those all-important first permanent molars.
Having sealants applied to teeth before they decay saves needless time, pain and money because they help you to avoid the procedures needed to fix decayed teeth.
Ten Minutes for Five Years
A sealant is made up of a clear, filmlike material that the dentist applies to the surface of back teeth. This material quickly bonds to the grooves and ridges embedded in the chewing surfaces of the teeth, forming a protective barrier that keeps decay-producing bacteria away from tooth surfaces, helping to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Sealant application is fast and easy. Each tooth is prepared and cleaned thoroughly. Next, a bonding agent is applied to make the sealant adhere to the tooth. Then the sealant is painted onto each tooth. The sealant is allowed to dry and harden, forming a protective bond on the tooth surface.
Ten minutes is about all it takes for approximately five years of protection! Sealants can be reapplied as they age or show signs of cracking or wear.
Sealants are ideal for:
- Children around the age of 6, who have gotten their first permanent molars
- Teenagers and adults who experience frequent tooth decay
- Adults with chronic dry mouth, as the lack of saliva leaves teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.