August 2016 Edition

DENTAL SEALANTS

August. 11. 2016

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth, especially those back teeth you use to chew. Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there is another safety net to help keep those teeth clean, which is called a sealant.

What is a dental sealant?
A sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity. In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.

How are sealants applied?
It’s a quick and painless process. A dentist will clean and place a strong bond on your teeth. Once ready, sealants will be applied onto the grooves of teeth, which will then be harden by curing light.

Who can get sealants?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. First molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which can be very beneficial for children and adults’ oral health in the long run.