How do I Prevent Tooth Decay with Dental Sealants
Getting Sealants at County Dental
The dental professionals and staff County Dental at Middletown, NY pride themselves on providing patients with any preventative measure against tooth decay. Along with routine brushing and flossing, as well as your six month routine hygiene visit, you may be able to get dental sealants to help prevent cavities.
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Sealants are usually applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars. Brushing and flossing does remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but sometimes they don’t always get into all the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by sealing out plaque and food.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
To be a candidate for a dental sealant, you must first and foremost have no signs of tooth decay. Children and teenagers are candidates for sealants, because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants to protect their smiles. Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. By getting the sealants as early as possible they can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages six to 14. In some cases, 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’s important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early. Schedule an appointment with County Dental at Middletown to see if you are a candidate for sealants.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Our dentists at County Dental at Middletown make applying a dental sealant a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for one of our dental professionals to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. First you must have a very thorough cleaning to ensure that there is no plaque build up, or any decay. Decaying teeth will not be able to be sealed. Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then once again rinsed and dried. The sealant solution is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. A special curing light is used to help the sealant harden. Once all of the sealant material has been cured and hardened, the sealants are complete and you now have a protective shield from harmful bacteria.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at your routine hygiene visit at County Dental at Middletown. Our dental professionals can replace sealants as necessary. If you have any additional questions about sealants or sealant procedures please feel free to give us a call and one of our friendly staff members will provide you with the answers to all your oral health care needs.
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