We are taught from a very young age the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth to prevent cavities and we should all continue that practice throughout our lives. However, it’s not easy, especially as a youngster, to reach every nook and cranny to clean out stray food and bacteria. To help in that cause are dental sealants, a common and effective treatment for many of our San Antonio and Waco, Texas patients.
What Are They?
Dental sealants are essentially a thin, protective coating made from plastic or dental-based resin that secures to the chewing surface of teeth. They are used to keep cavities from developing and can even stop early decay in its tracks before it becomes a cavity. In fact, studies reveal that dental sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay by upwards of 80 percent in molars.
This is encouraging news and highly important in light of a child’s overall dental health. Consider that the Centers for Disease Control state that children ages 6-11 without sealants contract nearly three times more cavities than children with sealants.
All positive data aside, many people still have questions about what sealants really are, how they work, and how they are applied.
How do Dental Sealants Work?
Many dentists refer to sealants as tooth raincoats. We all have bacteria living in our mouths and it is nasty stuff that teams up with leftover food particles to produce acid that eats holes right through our teeth. Those holes are cavities and dental sealants keep bits of food out and defend against bacteria and related acid from burrowing and causing trouble.
Dental Sealant Application in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
It is not uncommon to have a bit of trepidation about heading to the dentist for various procedures, but applying dental sealants is a very simple process and painless to boot. The whole works takes less than five minutes per tooth and it works like this:
Your dentist will thoroughly clean and dry the target teeth, followed by placing cotton or other absorbent material around the teeth so they stay dry. Next, an acidic solution, usually in gel form, is applied to the hard-working chewing surface to roughen it in order to create a durable and strong bond between the tooth and sealant.
After the acidic gel is rinsed and dried, your dentist will brush the sealant on to the tooth’s enamel and grooves. A special blue light is often used to cure the sealant into a very hard layer.
Does it Hurt?
While some San Antonio and Dallas Fort Worth metroplex area patients express concern about pain involved with dental sealants, there is nothing to worry about. Sealant resin forms into an invisible film and your teeth won’t feel any different than before the procedure.
Sealants can also be placed over early cavities to prevent further damage, and they can last up to 10 years. They gradually wear away on their own and your dentist will keep an eye on them and reapply if needed.
Keep in mind that sealants don’t replace proper daily oral health habits. Brush and floss every day to keep the cavities away.
For more information on dental sealant application procedures, contact Medico M.D. at (844) 9MEDICO or medicomdtx.com.