No one wants to start a new year off with a cavity. One of the fabulous gifts you can give yourself this season is good oral health. As we move into the holiday season, we often find ourselves chowing down on even more rich, decadent, and sweet foods than usual. This means that we need to pay extra attention to our teeth and find ways to prevent cavities.
Tooth decay is a common dental issue that most children and adults struggle with, no matter what time of year it is. Thankfully, there are many available ways to prevent it. One of the best ways is to get a dental sealant from your dentist. Dental sealants help prevent food particles from settling in the grooves of your teeth, especially in the areas where your toothbrush may not be able to reach.
Our Charlotte dentists, Dr. Taj and Dr. Pernell, offer quick and painless dental sealants in Charlotte, NC to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants have a list of long-term benefits and are one of the best forms of preventative dentistry for you and your kids.
Here are a few things you should know about tooth sealants and the benefits you can get from them.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin, artificial coating that gets painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to block cavity development and prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are made of medical grade resin and are similar to composite or white fillings. They bond into the grooves (fissures) of the teeth, forming a shield over the enamel of each tooth.
A dental sealant is applied to the most susceptible areas of the tooth to protect it from tooth decay. Although regular and thorough brushing can remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of your teeth, some foods can still get stuck in teeth grooves, which can be difficult to reach with your toothbrush. That’s why it’s so important to seal these areas from food particles before they have a chance to turn into hardened plaque.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Tooth sealants are a great option for all ages but especially for children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 18. This is because children have a higher chance of developing cavities in the fissures and grooves of their premolars and molars. In many cases, a dentist will place a dental sealant on permanent molars shortly after they are developed.
Adults can also benefit from dental sealants since they can prevent both tooth decay and gum disease. However, patients can only get this dental procedure done if they don’t already have an existing cavity or a tooth filling in place.
How Are Tooth Sealants Placed?
When you get dental sealants, you can expect a quick and painless process. Your dental appointment will include the following steps:
- First, our dentist will apply pumice to the tooth to clean it off. The pumice is left for a while before the tooth is washed with water and dried.
- Afterwards, an etch is applied to the grooves of the prepared tooth and is left for about 20 to 30 seconds. Then it will be rinsed with water and air dried again.
- Finally, the sealing material is applied on the tooth. After that, the tooth is cured with a special UV light.
Are Dental Sealants Durable?
If not properly maintained and taken care of, dental sealants can chip, crack, and fall off. However, with proper care, they can protect teeth from tooth decay for 5 to 10 years. On top of practicing good oral hygiene habits, it’s also important to avoid using your teeth as tools to open hard packages or chewing hard foods after you get a tooth sealant.
You also need to visit your dentist regularly to check for chipping and signs of wear and tear. Your dentist can replace the sealant if necessary. We also recommend becoming more mindful of the kinds of food you eat to help you maintain proper dental hygiene.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants provide a simple but highly effective barrier against food debris and bacteria, which can cause plaque. They seal the pit and fissures (grooves) in your teeth and act as another layer of enamel.
Here are some other benefits of dental sealants:
Dental Sealants Are Easy, Quick, and Painless
The dental sealant process is very simple: pumice is applied to the teeth and rinsed off with water, and then a blue material (ETCH) is placed on the tooth in preparation for the application of the sealant. You don’t have to worry about pain or discomfort with this type of dental procedure, and you can return to your normal activities right after.
Dental Sealants Are Durable
Dental sealants are not permanent, but they can last as long as 5 to 10 years. They can also be easily replaced. However, regular check-ups are required to ensure they stay in good shape.
Tooth Sealants Provide Effective Protection Against Tooth Decay
Dental sealants protect against tooth decay by covering the tops of your molars where cavities are more likely to form. They help keep plaque, food particles, and bacteria away from delicate places in the back molars.
Dental Sealants Are Great for Just About Any Age
Dental sealants are suitable for young children (who have permanent molars) all the way up to older adults. In fact, many dental professionals cite that children and teenagers between the ages of 6-18 are the best candidates for sealants. However, adults can also receive the same oral health benefits.
Where To Get Dental Sealants in Charlotte and Concord, NC
Getting a dental sealant is one of the best ways to maintain good oral care. At Modern Family Dental Care, we use only quality materials for our dental sealants in Charlotte and Concord, NC to ensure you and your children get the best dental care possible.
You can get a dental sealant or get a variety of other dental services done by visiting our dental office in Charlotte and Concord, NC or scheduling an appointment with us. Our dentists are always ready to answer any questions you may have about tooth sealants. Contact us today!