Uses of Dental SealantsMany people wonder why it is that they brush and floss their teeth daily, stick to teeth friendly foods and visit their dentist every 6 months, but still end up with cavities. The reason for this is a lack of protection of the pits and grooves on the surface of the teeth. Every time you chew food, particles of food can get stuck in these grooves on the teeth. Brushing with your regular toothbrush may not help because the bristles may be too big to reach the fissures, and brush off the food debris. The food particles continue to remain hidden in the fissures, and over a period of time, these food particles interact with bacteria to form oral acids. These acids then begin to attack the tooth enamel, ultimately leading to tooth decay. Flossing wonít help with getting rid of these food particles because they canít reach the numerous thin pits and grooves either. There is one way to get around this problem - dental sealants.
What are dental sealants?
A dental sealant is a clear protective coating that is applied on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These are applied mainly on the molars and premolars. These teeth are more at risk for cavities because they have several pits and fissures that can trap food debris. When a sealant is applied on the surface of the toot, it acts as a protective coating to cover the tiny crevices. Dental sealants are usually made of plastics, and can be either translucent or tinted. Dentists use a small brush to apply or paint these on the teeth.
Application of dental sealants
First, a white a white or clear liquid is painted on the tooth, and then the coating is hardened using a special light. The sealant takes just under a minute to set. The sealant takes just under a minute to set. Applying the sealant is a quick procedure, and is completely pain free. There is no need for pain killers, but it is very important to keep the tooth dry to allow the sealant to bond properly to the surface of the tooth. Your dentist will check the sealant every time you visit him for a checkup. These sealants tend to last for long, but may become chipped in rare cases.
Children and dental sealants
Children who are at high risk for cavities may benefit from having sealants applied to the back teeth. Children who are born premature, with low birth weight or whose parents have a history of dental caries or whose teeth have brown spots may be more at risk for dental cavities. Such children may benefit from the application of dental sealants. Generally, sealants are used only when the permanent teeth have erupted, and are not recommended for baby teeth. Adults who are at high risk for dental decay and other types of dental disease may also benefit from having sealants applied. Sealants can also reduce the need to have restorative dental treatments like crowns, tooth fillings, tooth extractions and root canal treatments.
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