Many people want to know if dental sealants work and if they are a good investment in your child’s oral health? Most tooth decay in children and teenagers occurs on the chewing surface of the back teeth and molars. Sealants are thin plastic coatings that cover the tooth surface and protect it from germs and food particles. These coatings are applied into the grooves on the top of the teeth where bacteria and decay get trapped, set in and cause cavities.
Dentists differ in their recommendations of when to apply dental sealants, but it is common knowledge that permanent molars benefit the most from sealants. Sealants are simply painted onto the teeth and hardened with a light, no drilling is involved. A protective plastic shield is formed over your tooth in about a minute. The entire tooth remains intact with sealants, as no tooth structure needs to be removed for proper sealing.
Most commonly applied to children, sealants can help protect your teeth from decay. Sealants are usually clear, but can also be white or have a slight tint so they are easier for your dentist to monitor. It is important for your dentist to check the condition of the sealants at your regular dental checkups to see if any need to be reapplied. Sealants typically last from 5 to 10 years depending on the patient.
Sealants can’t do the job of keeping your teeth safe and cavity free all by themselves. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene with regular daily brushing and flossing. Using fluoride toothpaste is also an important step in preventative dental care. So, if your child has cavity prone teeth, sealants may be a good investment; saving you time, money and saving your child from the discomfort of receiving fillings.