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What Are Dental Sealants and Who Needs Them?

Dental sealants are a layer of plastic that go on the back teeth. They’re usually placed on molars and premolars in an effort to prevent tooth decay. The sealant binds to the grooves in the tooth forming a protective layer on top of your enamel.

The reason why sealants are an important part of dental hygiene is that brushing and flossing can only do so much. Even the most advanced toothbrushes struggle to clean all of the food debris out of your mouth. Sealants prevent the plaque from ever establishing a foothold in your mouth.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Since dental sealants act as a barrier between your tooth enamel and plaque, children and teenagers are the best candidates for dental sealants. Adults can get dental sealants too, but only if there is limited decay in their molars and before they’ve had any fillings.

Traditional dentistry told folks to brush and floss every day to ensure their oral hygiene. Those who didn’t might get cavities and those would be filled. Dental sealants are a modern technology that helps prevent cavities from ever forming.

Dental sealants are generally applied anywhere between the ages of six and fourteen when a child’s permanent teeth are coming in. But in some cases, even baby teeth can be candidates for dental sealants. Since baby teeth play an important role in the formation and spacing of permanent teeth, some parents opt to have their children’s teeth sealed prior to their getting their permanent chompers.

How are Sealants Applied?

Unlike having a cavity filled, applying dental sealants is one of the least invasive and painful procedures known to dentistry. For those who hate the needle and the sound of the drill or the smell of your tooth being drilled into, dental sealants are a welcome alternative.

  • The teeth are cleaned – Prior to sealing the tooth, it must be thoroughly cleaned. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to seal plaque to your enamel, so any debris and plaque must be removed prior to applying the dental sealant.
  • The teeth are dried – Your teeth are going to need to be dry before the dental sealant is applied. We don’t want to trap in any moisture either.
  • The acid solution – An acid solution is placed on the top of your teeth to roughen up the surface so that the dental sealant has more grooves to settle into. After this, the teeth are dried again.
  • The sealant is applied – The sealant is applied to the tooth and you’re all set to go.

Sealants can last for up to ten years, but you’ll need to have them checked during subsequent checkups.

Contact Us for Dental Sealants in Flagstaff, AZ

If the thought of a lifetime without cavities sounds like preferable to having a dentist drill holes in your teeth, then dental sealants are a great option for you. While insurance generally won’t cover the procedure unless you’re under 18, there are many adults who are still prime candidates. For more information about dental sealants, give Peak Family Dental Care a call at 928-440-8431.