When it comes to the prevention of cavities, brushing and flossing every day is essential. However, it is not always easy or even possible to get into the natural crevices that occur in the teeth. Especially in the case of molars in the back of the mouth, these hard-to-reach places can become a haven for bacteria and plaque that will eventually become tooth decay. One tried-and-true method for preventing this is the application of a dental sealant to those areas.
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant in Mesquite, TX is a simple procedure performed by your dentist. This protective coating goes on the problem areas of the teeth to even out the surface area and prevents food from getting caught there while chewing. While sealants alone are no substitute for regular dental hygiene, they can be an enormous benefit to young children and others who are finding regular brushing to be a challenge.
The Benefits of Dental Sealants
The application of sealants can have tremendous benefits when it comes to reducing tooth decay in the molars, especially when applied early in life.
Although adults can also protect their vulnerable teeth with this procedure, children as young as 6 years old get their first molars and get their second set at 12. Between these ages, children are the most vulnerable to cavities either from poor diet or a fluoride deficiency. A large majority of those who receive dental sealants see those teeth stay cavity-free for life.
Application of an effective sealant will have many long-term benefits to dental health including:
- Significantly lowering the chances of cavities
- Nearly eliminating the need for root canals later in life
- Strengthening the teeth to prevent cracking or breakage
- Keeping teeth longer and potentially for life
How Sealants Work
Sealants are like a protective coating that makes food particles slide away instead of settle. The sealants take up space where the plaque would normally form but is unable to stick the smooth surface of the sealant. It can then slip away with the flow of saliva or light brushing.
In general, sealants can be most useful during the years of adolescence when children are most prone to getting cavities (usually the ages of 6-14), but sealants can be effective at any age on a tooth that has no signs of decay.
What to Expect When Getting Sealants
Applying sealants to your teeth is a quick and painless procedure that normally takes place after a thorough exam and cleaning to ensure there is no existing decay. The dentist cleans and dries the tooth receiving the sealant before applying a gel to the tooth. This will form a strong bond with the sealant. After rinsing off excess gel, the tooth dries and is prepared for the application of the sealant material.
Once completing the sealing process, this material hardens with the use of a blue light designed for that purpose. As most modern sealants are clear, any decay that does occur after the sealing process will be visible, but in most cases that is never a concern as the sealant can be viable and continue to protect the tooth for decades.
Have an interest in scheduling an appointment to get a dental sealant? Or are you perhaps looking for a different dental procedure? We perform a variety of dental services, including:
For information on these treatments and more, contact Galloway Dental at 469.273.1376. We look forward to caring for you and your oral health!