Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing and flossing, is one of the best ways to prevent cavities and maintain a healthy smile. However, it’s not always possible to effectively clean every groove and crevice, especially on those hard-to-reach areas on the molars at the back of the mouth. Dental sealants provide a barrier to protect your teeth, keeping tooth decay and cavities at bay.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are thin, protective coatings made of a clear plastic resin material. We easily paint them onto the tooth surfaces of the back teeth to smooth out the depressions known as pits and fissures. That essentially seals out bacteria and food particles, protecting your pearly whites. Applying sealants is painless, doesn’t require anesthesia, and takes a few short minutes to complete.
Dental sealants have been shown to lower the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80 percent in permanent molars. They can even stop the early stages of decay from progressing and becoming cavities. Placing dental sealants will prevent the need for extensive dental treatments down the road.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Children and adults are perfect candidates for dental sealants; however, the earlier these protective coatings are placed on permanent teeth, the better. The first set of molars starts appearing around age 6, while the second set comes in around age 12. Sealing the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars as soon as they erupt helps prevent tooth decay right from the start.
Candidates for sealants also include patients of any age who have a history of decay or those who have deep grooves or depressions on their teeth, which provide the perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to flourish. Sealants also benefit patients with lifestyles that promote dental problems, including smoking, eating plenty of sugary treats, neglecting oral hygiene care, and maintaining poor diets.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants have the potential to last up to ten years with proper care. However, they may begin to show signs of wear over time. When you come in for your twice-a-year dental visits, our team at Hebron Family Dentistry will check your sealants to ensure they are still intact. If we see signs of wear or damage, we will reapply the protective coatings, so they continue safeguarding your smile.
Dental Sealants Near Me
Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about our preventive dentistry procedures, including dental sealants. Dr. Watson and her team are all about prevention to maintain healthy smiles for life. Call us and schedule your appointment today!