Why You Should Consider Dental Sealant
We all know that regular brushing and flossing is absolutely essential for good oral hygiene. And if you are on a regular schedule with dental cleanings, you’re already off to a great start. But there are other things you can do to keep your mouth healthy.
When brushing and flossing aren’t enough
Check your toothbrush. Older toothbrushes lose their effectiveness after a while. If your brush’s bristles are worn or bending, they probably are missing a lot of bacteria, food remnants, and plaque in the grooves of your teeth. All these particles can build up over time and eventually cause painful cavities.
Even with a new, sturdy toothbrush, you will likely only penetrate certain areas of your teeth. Couple this fact with the regular busy parts of your life, and it can be easy to see how you can fall behind on your oral hygiene.
Dental sealant can help you get ahead of potential problems.
What exactly is dental sealant?
Dental sealant is a liquid that dentists apply to the top part of your tooth. After curing under a special light, dental sealant becomes a plastic-like coating on your teeth that will last for years. Sealant is usually applied to premolars and molars, since that’s where your teeth decay the most.
Dental sealant is key to maintaining good, lasting oral hygiene, as it acts as a barrier between your tooth enamel and harmful bacterial particles. It’s no replacement for brushing or flossing your teeth, but it is absolutely effective at preventing and delaying tooth decay in both children and adults.
What is the procedure for having dental sealant applied?
The process for having dental sealant applied is quick and painless. Sometimes people get anxious that the procedure will be an ordeal, but this is far from the case.
Let’s review the process that your dentist will likely follow when applying dental sealant:
Clean: First, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth. Afterward, the tooth surface gets rinsed, just like normal tooth cleaning.
Prime: Your dentist will then prime your teeth with a special material. This will lightly roughen the surface of your teeth, which helps dental sealant stick to them.
Rinse & Dry: After your teeth are primed for 10-15 seconds, your dentist will rinse your teeth with water, and then dry your teeth to adhere the sealant.
Seal & Cure: After your teeth have had time to dry, your dentist will apply sealant to your teeth with a curing light. This light hardens the sealant into a plastic-like coating.
Assess the Bite: Finally, your dentist will have you bite down a few times to make sure there’s no sealant getting in the way. If there’s no build-up of sealant interfering with your bite, it means the process is complete!
That’s all there is to it! There’s no shots, no numbing, no drilling, and absolutely no pain when you have dental sealant applied. You don’t even need to worry about changing up your diet — you can immediately start eating and drinking once your teeth have dried.
Is dental sealant effective?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants cut down on cavities by 86% in the first year, and by 58% after four years
Getting dental sealant applied to your teeth early on makes it easier to avoid time-consuming and painful corrective treatment. Without a good application of dental sealant, you risk developing cavities or decaying teeth.
You can expect your dental sealants to last for a long time—typically five or more years. It’s a good idea to check in with your dentist to ensure that your sealant is in good condition. They will help you determine whether your sealant is starting to wear away.
As long as you keep up with a regular brushing and flossing schedule, your dental sealant should last you for a long time!
About Leesburg Family Smiles
Leesburg Family Smiles has been delivering care to patients of all ages in a comfortable, supportive and friendly environment in Loudoun County and throughout Northern Virginia since 1973! Drs. Amanda Brown and Walter Collazo have extensive knowledge and expertise in dentistry, coupled with a genuine concern for their patients.