If you have taken a trip to the dentist in your lifetime, you have probably heard about sealants. You’ve maybe had them described to you, but what is the true benefit of getting them? Do you really need to seal all of your teeth? Let’s take a closer look into why sealants could be a great option for you.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a resin material that coats your teeth (commonly known to be similar to the material they use on a filling). The sealant is placed, or painted on the chewing surface of your permanent teeth to help protect them from decay. A sealant essentially “seals” the outer portion of your tooth and hardens the surface. The sealant then acts as a shield against decay or cavities, but does not fully prevent you from getting cavities.
Why are dental sealants placed on your teeth?
Have you ever hear that your teeth are “groovy?” These grooves in your teeth are called fissures, and these ridges make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities. Since everyone has different teeth, some of you have much deeper grooves than others. The deeper the grooves in your teeth, the more risk there is to decay and cavities. When you add a sealant to your tooth, it adds extra protection to the grooved and pitted areas and creates a smooth surface. This sealant acts as a barrier, and now covers the part of your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.
When are dental sealants placed?
As soon as the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted above the gum, sealants are ready to be placed on those teeth. Between the ages of eleven to thirteen years of age, are the most common times sealants are placed. It is advised to get sealants in during this time frame, in order to keep your teeth protected at a young age.
What is the process of getting sealants like?
Application of sealants is painless and simple! After the tooth is cleaned, the sealant gel is painted on your tooth and then dried a few seconds later. The sealant process takes about a minute to harden. You are able to eat and drink following your sealant application.
What are some facts about sealants?
Sealants are placed on your teeth, there is no drilling involved in this process.
• Sealants do not prevent decay on all surfaces of the tooth.
• You still need to brush and floss around all of your teeth, including the teeth that have been sealed.
• If a sealant does pop off due to teeth grinding or eating a sticky food, you are advised to get this replaced by your dental professional.
• It is common to have sealants replaced every couple of years.
• Some dental insurances will cover the replacement of sealants, and others will not.
Sources: Colgate.com, ada.org, huffingtonpost.com, cdc.gov