Protecting your teeth is a lifelong mission that will help you feel proud of your smile at every age and may even be able to help you prevent other health conditions. Although regular brushing and flossing along with dental appointments at Tatiana Vazira DDS in Burbank, are keys to a beautiful and healthy smile over the years, there may be another puzzle piece that can help you see fewer cavities and decay over time.
Dental sealants are thin coatings that can be painted onto teeth to protect the surface of the enamel. They are most frequently used on back molars, which can be incredibly difficult to reach with your toothbrush and to keep clean between dental appointments. Foods and drinks can coat the tiny recesses of these larger teeth and may eventually lead to decay and cavities. However, sealants offer a simple yet effective way to get around many of these problems.
How Dental Sealants Protect the Tooth
A dental sealant is basically a clear coating for the tooth. Sealants are usually made out of resins or glass ionomers, both of which can be very effective and strong. While resin-based sealants are used much of the time, all glass ionomer sealants contain fluoride and may be better for sensitive teeth. Some newer resin-based options also contain fluoride these days and are seen as quite safe by the American Dental Association.
Candidates for Sealants
While both adults and children can have sealants, children are more apt to receive them because they generally have a more difficult time keeping their teeth clean and may have a higher incidence of cavities. When the first molars appear around the age of 6, many children receive their first set of sealants. They may need sealants applied again in the preteen years when the next set of molars arrive. This treatment can even be used on baby teeth.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants have amazing Cavity Prevention powers. In fact, the CDC says that sealants help prevent up to 80 percent of cavities in the first two years after they are applied and up to 50 percent of cavities in the following two years. Because teeth that have never had cavities are far stronger than their decay-ridden counterparts are, it is far better to apply sealants now than to opt for fillings later in life.
For both children and adults, sealants should be seen as a great preventative treatment that provides amazing tooth decay protection. They are easy to apply, quite cost-effective and very comfortable. Because the grooves of back molars are smoothed out by the sealant, bacteria from foods are far less likely to grow there, which provides great Cavity Prevention.
How Dental Sealants Are Applied
Dental sealants are only applied after the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned by a dental hygienist. It is important that the surfaces of the tooth stay completely dry during application of the sealant material to ensure that it sticks. Once dry, the tooth’s surface is roughened with a special acid solution. Then the tooth is rinsed and dried again. Finally, the sealant is painted onto the tooth and is hardened with a curing light. This process is completely comfortable. With proper care, a dental sealant may last for as long as 10 years.
When dental sealants are used in conjunction with proper oral care at home as well as with regular cleanings and dental examinations at Tatiana Vazira DDS in Burbank, they are highly successful in tooth decay protection and Cavity Prevention. They can also help individuals who have previously had cavities filled and who want to prevent future issues on their back molars.
Whether you are interested in optimum oral care for yourself or for your child, visit our office for more information about how dental sealants can help. Contact the office of Dr. Tatiana Vazira today to learn more or to set up an appointment for yourself or your family member.