When you want to protect your teeth, the best path to success is usually through prevention. Woodcreek Dental can make sure you keep your smile shining with a dental sealant. These specialized coatings help to protect your teeth from decay for up to ten years—and that’s something to really smile about!
What are Dental Sealants?
Think of dental sealants as a clear coating for your teeth. Usually, this coating is applied to the teeth in the back of your mouth, specifically the molars and premolars. The flat biting surfaces of these teeth have deep grooves and other openings that can be hard to keep clean. Even brushing thoroughly twice a day with the best toothbrush can’t get to all of the nooks and crannies found on these teeth. If bacteria build up there, it can lead to tooth decay.
With a dental sealant, those nooks and crannies get smoothed out. By filling in some of those hard-to-reach gaps, brushing your teeth becomes much more effective. The plastic sealant creates an extra barrier against bacteria. By applying a dental sealant, the acids produced by bacteria can’t harm the enamel found on your teeth.
How Dental Sealants Work
Applying a dental sealant begins with a thorough cleaning. We’ll make sure your teeth are spotless using special toothpaste and a high-speed rotating brush. After a thorough rinse, we wait for your teeth to dry. Because the sealant adheres best to rough surfaces, we use an acidic solution on the biting areas of your molars and premolars to make the surface coarse.
As soon as your teeth are prepared, we’ll apply the dental sealant over the flat biting areas of your teeth. While the sealant is applied as a liquid, it quickly transforms into a clear plastic coating when exposed to an ultraviolet curing light. The result? A strong, durable layer of dental sealant that protects your teeth. You should still continue to have your molars monitored, but the sealant can protect your teeth for up to ten years with proper maintenance.
Who Qualifies for Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can be a great option for any patient, especially those who are at higher risk of tooth decay. For patients with risks related to genetics, diet, or certain medications, the benefits from dental sealants are extensive—as long as they don’t have restorations or existing tooth decay.
However, the best candidates for dental sealants are children and teenagers. While it’s important to instill proper oral hygiene routine in your child or teenager, the fact is that some younger patients aren’t as thorough as they need to be. This can leave them at a greater risk of developing tooth decay, which can cause big problems later on in life.
For younger patients, it’s best to get a dental sealant applied as soon as the molars and premolars break through the gum line. This prevents plaque and bacteria from doing any damage before the sealant can be used. Even with a sealant, though, you should make sure that your children and teenagers are flossing daily and brushing their teeth at least twice a day—especially after meals.
Schedule an Appointment
If you want to learn more about dental sealants, call Woodcreek Dental at (805) 482-6389. We’ll schedule an appointment to help you decide if getting a dental sealant is right for you or your children.