Meticulous brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth but they cannot always get into the crevices of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants defend these susceptible areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
What are sealants?
Dental sealants place a wall around the teeth, protecting them against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars, where decay occurs most often.
By bonding plastic resin (the dental sealant) into the grooves of a tooth a dentist can create a tooth surface that is smoother. This way, when brushing your teeth, there is a better chance of completely cleaning the chewing surface. Since dental plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less of a chance that tooth decay will form.
Are sealants for children and adults?
Children and teenagers are obvious candidates for sealants, because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
According to WebMD, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it is important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.
Adults can also benefit from sealants, however their teeth have to be in good condition without decay or fillings in the molars.
How long do sealants last?
A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years and can be replaced if chipped or dislodged by your dentist in Richmond, TX. Also, remember that regular check-ups and professional cleanings are important in maintaining healthy teeth.