Protecting your teeth is important for a variety of reasons, from your health to your physical appearance to your general ability to enjoy food without issue. While brushing twice daily and flossing should be enough to keep teeth in tip top shape, did you know that there is more that you can be doing to help protect your children’s teeth from cavities and decay? Dental sealants are an innovative way to help keep bacteria out and your health in check! If you’ve ever been curious about dental sealants, keep reading to learn a bit more about how they might benefit your children or even you!
First things first: What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are similar to what their name suggests: seals for your teeth. Usually placed on the chewing edge of back molars, dental sealants are plastic coatings that help to keep bacteria away from the porous surface of your tooth, thus preventing decay and cavities. They are a long-lasting way to help teeth stay clean and bacteria-free!
What are the benefits of dental sealants?
All of our teeth have grooved edges, but the molars and premolars are particularly grooved, making them more susceptible to food becoming lodged in them and decay occurring. The deeper these notches and grooves are, the harder they are to clean and clear away of plaque and debris. Sometimes, small imperfections in the teeth are so narrow, even a single bristle of a toothbrush can’t reach inside to clear away what’s lurking! Over time, accumulated plaque will eat into the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities and decay. While fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel against such attacks, dental sealants act as a physical barrier between your enamel and the offending acids. The plastic coating covers the grooves and provides a smooth surface for your tooth.
Who is a good candidate for dental sealants?
Dental sealants are usually placed on children’s permanent teeth, soon after they erupt in the mouth and the chewing edges are above the surface of the gum. Once sealed, the tooth will be protected as it continues to grow into the mouth. Generally, children’s molars will continue to erupt until they are somewhere between eleven and thirteen, and each molar or premolar should be sealed as it emerges beyond the gum. While dental sealants are typically placed on children whose teeth have not yet experienced decay, adults can also be good candidates for sealants! An adult who is prone to cavities or who has deep grooves in their teeth but has no had fillings may find benefits from dental sealants.
Dental sealants are a great way to give your children’s teeth the upper hand in health from an early age! It’s best to have a conversation with your dentist about dental sealants before your child’s adult teeth start to come in, so it’s never too early to ask!
If you’d like to schedule a consultant to discuss dental sealants with your dentist, give us a call at Oradent Associates in Chicago today!