Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth, Preventing Decay
Sealants have superpowers. One of the most common places that tooth decay develops is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, the premolars, and molars. Because the grooves on the back of the teeth are hard to keep clean, your dentist may recommend Dental Sealants, which is a plastic material that applied to the chewing surface of a back tooth. It acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by “sealing out” plaque and food. This is great for children as soon as the premolars and molars come in. The dentists at Alabama Family Dentistry know when it’s time to apply sealants to protect you or your child’s teeth.
How are Sealants Applied?
Sealants are easy to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. First, the teeth that will be sealed are cleaned and prepared to accept the product. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. They are generally clear or white and cannot be seen when you smile or talk.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth’s chewing surfaces will be protected from plaque and food. Sealants, which hold up well under the force of everyday chewing, can last a few years before a reapplication is needed. However, it is important to see your dentist regularly to check that the product remains intact.
The likelihood of developing tooth decay on the chewing surfaces begins shortly after teeth come into the mouth, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates for the treatment. Adults can benefit, too, because you never ‘outgrow’ the risk for developing cavities.
Alabama Family Dentistry can help you maintain your happy, healthy smile. Biannual cleanings can show potential problems and procedures like dental sealants can help protect the teeth and keep them free from decay. Make an appointment to get your teeth checked and see if a dental sealant would be good for you or your child. We have 4 offices Warrior, Gardendale, Birmingham/Acton Rd., and Sumiton. If you live in one of these surrounding communities, we would love to meet you and take care of your dental needs: Bessemer, Hoover, Dora, Crossroads, Fultondale, Trafford, or Vestalia.