Proper hygiene techniques and regular dental checkups are a great defense against tooth decay, but what if they are not quite enough? Enter dental sealants. Getting tooth sealants can also greatly assist in the tooth decay battle. Continue reading for more insight into this treatment option and how it can be an effective tool for…
Preventive Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants provide a simple but effective preventive solution to the issue of tooth cavities developing on chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The back molars have pits and fissures for chewing, but they tend to trap food debris, and the bacteria they harbor are often hard to clean, despite regular brushing. Applying dental sealants over the molars and premolars reduces the occurrence of cavities by limiting the presence of bacteria and food particles on teeth.
The benefits of dental sealants
The American Dental Association defines sealants as “barriers” against tooth decay. A dental sealant is simply a plastic coating applied over the grooves of the back teeth to prevent bacterial plaque and food debris from accumulating there and demineralizing the hard enamel layer. The preventive treatment is mostly provided for children and teenagers because their teeth are particularly prone to plaque and cavities when they erupt, but using sealants on adult teeth can be effective as well.
Reduction in cavity occurrence
Dental sealants are effective for preventing cavities, but applying them over a tooth already affected by cavities will not halt the progress of the decay. When used appropriately, sealants can reduce the number of dental fillings the patient will need during their lifetime. Dental sealants are highly resilient and can survive several years of use.
The dentist will examine the sealants during routine dental checkups, repairing or replacing them as required. Although dental sealants can shield baby teeth, the main targets are usually the child’s permanent back teeth, including the molars and premolars. The sealants will protect the teeth against bacteria, especially in areas that are hard to reach when brushing.
A study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that school-aged kids without dental sealants, when compared to those with sealants, were three times more likely to develop cavities than their peers. In the same report, the CDC noted that dental sealants could potentially save millions of dollars in dental costs around the country.
Good oral health
Oral hygiene also has direct implications for how a child performs in school. Kids who have tooth decay often have trouble eating and sleeping, which may have adverse effects on their attendance and performance in school. While it seems far-fetched to say that providing dental sealants will improve a child’s performance, they do have a direct impact on the child’s health and mental clarity.
Simply put, if the child has to worry less about tooth cavities by getting dental sealants, it could set them up for success and prevent minor issues from getting worse. There are no disadvantages to getting dental sealants. The sealants may chip or break, but this is rare, and repair or replacement is relatively easy.
Good oral hygiene and dental sealants are complementary ways to prevent or reduce the presence of plaque and eventual cavities. Regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist are still important. If you are considering getting dental sealants, book an appointment with the dentist for a consultation.
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Dental sealant placement forms a barrier between the teeth and the substances that can cause tooth decay. It is a powerful tool to prevent tooth decay, especially in children. However, it is not a substitute for good oral hygiene. Patients with sealants still need to brush and floss on a daily basis and see a…
Dental sealants are a great protective option for patients of all ages. Family dentists typically administer them to children as a way to prevent tooth decay, but adults can also benefit from these preventive measures. This simple procedure can be done in less than an hour, and the results tend to last for a few…
According to our preventive dentist and the American Dental Association, the answer to that question is every six months for most people. That is the maximum amount of time you should have between dental visits since it ensures your dentist can detect any developing problems before they cause significant damage to the structures inside your…