What Are Dental Sealants and How Do They Work?

Tooth decay caused by cavities is a major concern for children in California as 61% of third-graders experience this dental health issue.

Brushing and getting professional cleaning for your children can help, but there are even more efficient options available.

Read on to discover how dental sealants take the extra step to stop cavities before they start.

What are Dental Sealants?

Teeth have small spaces and hard-to-reach areas that sometimes can’t be cleaned by a toothbrush alone. Luckily, dental care has gotten more proactive with the use of dental sealants.

Dental sealants are a protective layer applied to the outer layer of teeth. But what are sealants exactly? They are thin coatings of plastic resin that fill in the small crevices of each tooth.

Applying Dental Sealants

As far as dental services go, applying dental sealants is a simple process.

First, your teeth are cleaned and dried. Then, an acidic gel is applied to your teeth to prepare them for the sealant. The gel creates a glue-like barrier between your enamel and the sealant.

After the gel settles, the dentist wipes the excess gel off your teeth. The sealant is then applied like paint to each tooth.

The dentist uses a blue curing light to harden the sealant to keep it from coming off.

How Do They Work?

Dental health is all about keeping bad bacteria off of your teeth so that they don’t eat away your enamel. A sealant acts as a protective coating to keep bacteria off your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

If your children don’t have cavities then it works as preventative dental care. This is especially helpful for children who eat more sugary drinks and candy that feeds the bad bacteria.

Children who have cavities can also benefit from dental sealants. This is because they cover the cavity and keep it from spreading through the teeth.

In addition to keeping bacteria off of your teeth, a sealant is like having another layer of enamel. Your enamel slowly wears off because of acidic foods and drinks. The sealant will block acid from reaching your enamel and make your teeth stronger.

Who Can Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are common for children because they are less diligent with their oral healthcare. However, only 64.6% of Californian adults visit their dentist within a given year, making it beneficial to many grownups.

It is best to get sealants before cavities begin to develop, so the earlier the better. Children can get sealants once their permanent molars have come in. However, using sealants on baby teeth is also an option.

Taking a Proactive Approach to Dental Care

We learn new ways to protect our teeth as innovations in dental care become available, and dental sealants are the future of preventive oral health. They are the best way to keep your teeth from decaying no matter how often you clean them.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tuan Pham today to stop tooth decay from developing tomorrow.