When and why do you need Dental Sealants?
What are dental sealants?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is an important part of overall health but it is not as easy as we normally make it. Many-a-time, brushing and flossing are not enough to clean the hard-to-reach areas of our mouth. As food particles in the back of our mouth remain uncleaned, it becomes more vulnerable to bacteria invasion and subsequently, tooth decay. Dental sealants are plastic coating applied over the bicuspids and molars. They keep the teeth chewing surfaced of the teeth safe from acid and plaque.
Who needs sealants?
Dental sealants are a way to keep your teeth healthy without taking extra care of your teeth every day. As sealants protect your teeth from bacteria or decay, the earlier one gets it, the better. While both children and adults could benefit from sealants, to get most out of this process one should get it done between 6 and 12 years of age because that’s when the molar appears.
Sealants are particularly effective in protecting the grooved areas at the back of your mouth which are most vulnerable to a bacteria invasion; therefore, the sooner one gets it, the better.
How are they applied?
Good news first, the application of sealants is a completely painless procedure with no drilling, numbing injection, etc. involved in it. The procedure has two parts, in the first one; an oral hygienist will thoroughly clean your tooth by removing plaque and food particles from the grooves, pits, and surface of the teeth.
Once the teeth are dry the dentist will apply a gel over the teeth, this gel roughs up your teeth surface so the sealant can stick to your teeth properly. After a few seconds, the gel will be removed and the teeth dried again. In the next part, the dentist will apply the sealant in the grooves of your teeth and then use a special blue light over them to harden it.
What are the pros and cons of sealants?
Frequently Asked Questions
Sealants are designed to last a long time, almost up to a decade. Having said that, they are not immune to chipping or wear and tear, therefore, it is important to visit your doctor in case you notice them.
Your oral hygiene regime does not change after getting sealants. You can brush twice and floss regularly like you did before. However, do not neglect the basic oral hygiene practices as that might wear down the sealants sooner and cause decay, thus, defeating the purpose of getting sealants in the first place.
People with allergy are normally advised not to get sealants, but otherwise there are no known side effects of sealants. Although, getting advice from your dentist and opening up about your medical history before getting sealants is a good idea.