Sealants Save Your Teeth
What’s the solution?
Because the grooves on the back of your teeth are hard to keep clean, Dr Witten may recommend dental sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to a chewing surface of a back tooth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by “sea ling out” plaque and food.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are easy to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. First, the teeth that will be sealed are cleaned and prepared to accept the sealant. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to harden the sealant. Sealants are generally clear or white and cannot be seen when you smile or talk.
Ask your dentist whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth’s chewing surfaces will be protected from plaque and food. Sealants, which hold up well under the force of everyday chewing, can last a few years before a reapplication is needed. However, it is important to see your dentist regularly to check that the sealant remains intact.
The likelihood of developing tooth decay on the chewing surfaces begins shortly after teeth come into the mouth, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates for sealants. Adults can benefit from sealants, too, because you never “outgrow” the risk for developing cavities.
Keeping Your Smile Healthy
Dental sealants can help prevent decay. They can also help you save time and money that would have been spent on restorative dental procedures. In order to keep your smile healthy, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance – an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness. You should clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner once a day, visit Dr. Witten regularly and avoid frequent between-meal snacks.