Dental sealants are one method of preventing tooth decay. They are thin, plastic coatings that are usually placed on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). Sealants can also be placed on any deep grooves of the teeth, where most tooth decay occurs.
Though brushing and flossing clean the teeth, and the application or ingestion of fluoride from tap water sources help keep them strong, there are grooves or fissures in the molars and premolars that are difficult to reach, making them vulnerable to decay. Plaque can accumulate in these areas, bacteria that can attack tooth enamel and create cavities. Sealants create a smooth surface which is easy to clean, protecting the tooth from decay.
To apply a dental sealant, the tooth surface is first cleaned thoroughly, rinsed, and dried. A special solution is then applied to the dry surface to help the dental sealant bond with the tooth. Once this special solution is also dried, the sealant is painted onto the tooth surface to cover the grooves or depressions. The sealant is then hardened either by using a special curing light or left to harden on its own, depending on the type. Once dry, the sealant becomes a hard plastic varnish coating, and the tooth is ready to be used as normal again.
Teeth that have had dental sealants applied to them should be cared for using the same oral care habits usually recommended – brushing and flossing daily, keeping a healthy, balanced diet, and visiting the dentist regularly. Dental visits will provide checkups on wear and tear on the sealants. With proper care, sealants can last for many years.
For protective dental sealants, book an appointment with our Pearland office today!