Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves of your teeth and on the chewing surfaces of your molars in order to protect them from decay.
The reason for applying a dental sealant is that most tooth decay in children, teens, and even adults occurs on the molars and in the ridges of teeth. When dental sealant is applied, it will protect the surface of your teeth from decay by blocking germs, bacteria and food particles that have a tendency to get trapped in these troublesome areas.
Typically, permanent molars will benefit the most from receiving a coating of dental sealant. The first permanent molars usually come in around age six with your second molars coming in around age twelve. It is best to have sealants applied as close to the time that your permanent adult molars appear as possible. This will give your permanent molars maximum protection and stop any chance of decay.
Everyone can benefit from sealants even if you are beyond the age of twelve. This is because everyone benefits from not suffering from dental tooth decay.
Applying sealants to your teeth is not a difficult or painful process. In fact, receiving sealants requires no drilling and no removal of teeth. The process of receiving dental sealants is extremely quick and easy.
First, your teeth will be cleaned in order to remove any germs or food particles. Next, a special gel will be placed on the chewing surfaces, and ridges of your teeth and allowed to remain for several seconds. After this, your teeth will be washed and dried. Finally, the dental sealant will be painted on your tooth. A bright light will be used to help harden the sealant after it has been placed on your teeth. After about one minute the dental sealant will have formed a protective shield for your teeth.
Think of sealants like an umbrella for your teeth. When germs and food particles rain down on your teeth, your dental sealants will shield your teeth from these things and keep them unharmed.
Dental sealants are only visible if you are up close and looking for them. Sealants are clear, white, or slightly tinted to match the shade of your teeth and are usually not seen when you are eating or talking.
Sealants can work for up to ten years. At your oral wellness visits, Dr. Faist will check the condition of your dental sealants to make sure they are still functioning properly. Should Dr. Faist notice any changes, he can easily reapply a new coating onto your teeth.
Absolutely not. Fluorides in toothpaste, mouthwash, and tap water will add to the protection against cavities, but in a different way than sealants do.
There are no known side effects from sealants other than possible allergies one might have to the sealant material utilized.
Sealants should not change the way you care for your teeth. You should still brush and floss twice daily, and continue to see Dr. Faist for your ongoing oral wellness visits.