Purpose of a dental sealant

A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is placed on the teeth to protect them from cavities. Sealants are most often placed on the molars or premolars, which face the greatest risk of decay. The grooves along the chewing surfaces of those teeth are most likely to collect bacteria and sugars. The sealant blocks those harmful particles from penetrating the teeth.

When a patient gets a sealant, the dentist will clean the targeted tooth and then paint the sealant material, which is a thin layer of plastic, onto it. A light is then used to “cure” or harden the sealant, which can offer a layer of protection for up to a decade. Sealants can be replaced when they wear out, if the dentist feels that a sealant is still necessary by that point.

The best dentists recommend dental sealants for patients who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Often those patients are children whose permanent molars or premolars have recently erupted, because sealing the molars soon after they come in results in the best outcomes. Children usually get their first permanent molars around age 6. Dental sealants can also be used on baby teeth, if your dentist makes that recommendation.

Sealants are particularly helpful for children who are still mastering the art of oral hygiene. If your child hasn’t gotten the hang of thoroughly brushing the rearmost teeth, sealants can help prevent cavities caused by tiny bits of food that remain in the mouth or leftover candy residue that stubbornly sticks to the teeth.

Adults who are prone to developing cavities can also benefit from sealants that prevent the negative effects that decay can have on oral health. People who do not get enough fluoride, such as those who live in areas without fluoridated water, should also consider sealants in addition to any supplemental fluoride treatments they receive.

Dental sealants are simple and affordable treatments. They’ll save you money in the long run, too, by reducing the need for costlier procedures like fillings or more extensive interventions to treat advanced tooth decay.

To learn more about dental sealants, contact the best dentist serving Carrollton TX today.