What are Dental Sealants and Are They Right For Me?
Dental Sealants Mesa AZ
While there is no alternative to the benefits of traditional brushing and flossing, there is another tool that can protect the teeth and keep them clean. Dental sealants are composed of a thin, protecting coating that adheres to the surface of the back teeth, in the areas used during chewing. The sealants, made from plastic or other materials, actually protect these chewing surfaces from cavities and decay, shielding them from germs and food residue.
In fact, the American Dental Association states that proper sealants will protect against 80 percent of cavities for the first two years and against 50 percent for up to four years after application. This is particularly important in young, school-aged children. A 2016 report from the Center for Disease Control found that children without sealants have three times more cavities than those who do have them, a staggering statistic on children’s oral health. While anyone can be a candidate for sealants, the earlier you get them, the better off the teeth will be. Sealing the molars in youth reduces the risk of food and germs turning acidic and burning holes into these crucial teeth, which will save money, time, and pain in the future.
So how do they work and how are they applied? Sealant application is quick and easy, acting as a rain coat for the teeth. After cleaning and drying your teeth, your dentist will apply an acidic gel which will roughen the surface and allow for stronger bonding. A few seconds later, he/she will rinse off the gel, dry the area, and apply the liquid sealant onto the grooves of the teeth. Blue light will then be used to harden the sealant. They will last for several years before reapplication is necessary, and patients will hardly notice the sealant on their teeth. In some cases, your dentist may apply sealant over an already decaying tooth or cavity, in order to slow the progression and monitor the tooth for future action.
Talk to your local dentist in Mesa Arizona to discuss whether sealants are right for you or your child at your next dental appointment.