What are Dental Sealants and Who Should Get Them?

However much you try to clean your teeth, you will never quite clean very nook and cranny of your teeth. There are areas where your tooth does not reach especially at the back of your teeth. The molars and some premolars can be difficult to clean and this makes them susceptible to infections and tooth decay. Foot leftovers accumulate in such areas and over time the food particles turn to tartar which can cause cavities. This inability of even a fastidious dental hygiene to guarantee protection from cavities called for the need of a more reliable way to keep teeth safe and this came in the form of dental sealants.

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin protective coatings made from plastic and are placed on the chewing surface of the molars and premolars to protect the teeth from cavities and decay. The thin plastic layer adheres to the surface of the teeth making it impossible for food particles to seep into the teeth causing decay. They act as covers for your teeth and protect the chewing surfaces from remnants of food.

 They are so effective that they have been found to reduce cases of dental decay and cavities by more than 80%. The fact that they are non-intrusive and are virtually invisible makes them popular in America and it is no surprise that their preference in America has grown tremendously in the last few years. Very many Americans still have numerous questions about these sealants. A lot of people don’t understand how these things work or who they are meant for. How are these sealants applied? Who is eligible to use these sealants? How long do they last? Are they reliable?

Who should get dental sealants?

Sealants can be used by both children and adults but ideally they are better off when used by children to prevent the cavities from developing from an early age. Since premolars appear at the age of 6 and molars at around 12, kids should be getting them around this time. Waiting until it is too late before you can consider getting sealants can increase the chances of the cavities developing. As for adults, this sealants can be used at any point in life because cavities can develop at any stage.

How are they installed?

The process of getting dental sealants is quick and painless. It is something that takes less than an hour but will have a very big impact on your life. The dentist will only clean and dry your teeth before placing an acidic gel meant to roughen the surface to increase the surface area for the sealant to adhere to. The dentist will then rinse off the gel and apply the sealant onto the grooves of your teeth. A special blue light is then used to harden the sealant and the process is over in no time.

How long do sealants last?

Considering the fact that the sealants are installed on a surface that is constantly involved in grinding and chewing of food, the question of longevity comes into mind. Can they stand the constant tear and wear in the mouth for long enough?

Surprisingly enough, these things can last a good ten years if maintained properly. Yes, the flimsy looking sealants can last for more than ten years and protect you from cavities all along. After ten years, they will start tearing and wearing away on their own. You can choose to have them removed professionally or leave them to wear away on their own.

If you want them to last longer, you will have to desist from habits such as opening soda bottles using your teeth or anything that puts your teeth under undue pressure. Every time you go in for checking and cleaning, your dentist can check out the areas that are worn out and reapply the sealant to repair the damage.

Do sealants have any side effects?

Sealants are very safe and have no known side effects. Except for very few allergic reactions that some people exhibit when they get sealants, there are no any other known side effects of sealants. They may be having very tiny amounts of BPA but this should not worry you at all. These are safe alternatives that will reduce the risk of getting dental cavities by more than 80%.

So, if you were still not sure what sealants are, then I am sure you do now. They might not guarantee 100% protection from cavities but are better placed to protect you from decay and other dental complications. They are cheap and easy to maintain as well. If you have small ones in the family who you care about, there is every reason to get them these sealants and help safeguard their teeth from cavities. Talk to any of our Professional dentists here at Vita Dental and we will gladly advise you on the suitability of sealants for your teeth.