Dental sealants are gaining popularity for their ability to reduce the risk of cavities for both children and adults. A good way to prevent cavities and other problems with the teeth is through regular brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist. However, some areas of the mouth can be difficult to reach. The molars are especially difficult to reach and they provide a welcoming space for harmful bacteria. This is where dental sealants come in.
A dental sealant is an extremely thin coating that is usually made out of plastic. It is painted on the back teeth and it will bond to the depressions in the teeth. The sealants will protect the vulnerable areas of the teeth, such as the nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach. Dental sealants prevent food particles from settling on the teeth and feeding the bacteria.
To apply dental sealants, the dentist will carefully clean each tooth to be sealed. The dentist will then thoroughly dry each of the teeth. The dentist will place absorbent material around the teeth so that the teeth will stay dry. Next, the dentist will place a harmless acidic solution on the teeth to roughen the surface. This will allow the sealant to stick better.
The dentist will then rinse and dry each of the teeth. Finally, the dentist will paint the sealant on each tooth. In some cases, the dentist will use a curing light to help the sealant dry faster. The sealant can last for up to a decade, although it must be periodically checked to ensure it is not cracking or chipping.
Sealants also cannot take the place of good oral hygiene. Because the sealant does not go between the teeth, the patient must still floss the area.
According to the American Dental Association, having sealants reduces the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80%. This is especially important for children because the molars are just starting to emerge. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that children who do not have dental sealants have nearly three times more cavities than children with sealants.
When children do not have dental sealants, cavities can form. Because these cavities often form in the difficult-to-reach parts of the mouth, the cavities can be undetected. If these cavities are not treated, they can lead to other problems. Untreated cavities can cause the enamel and the dentin of the tooth to decay. This decay can eventually reach the root of the tooth, causing the tooth’s root to become exposed, which can lead to pain while eating or drinking, sending many people to an emergency dentist.
Hidden cavities are extremely painful and can lead to dental emergencies. Having dental sealants applied is a painless process that can be very beneficial later on. These sealants can protect parts of the mouth that are difficult to clean properly. Children can especially benefit from these types of sealants. Visit a dentist today for more information.
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