Oral Health and Dental Sealants: Everything You Should Know

Oral Health and Dental Sealants: Everything You Should Know

Oral health is paramount in leading a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to dentistry, many aspects of dental care have to be handled. Some key areas include the gum tissue, a tooth’s enamel, and root canal, to mention a few. Both the visible and the parts you can’t see on your teeth require dental care.

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are typically used on molars and premolars. The sealants are bonded to the occlusal of teeth to protect them from decay caused by acids and bacteria. Dental sealants in Milford, CT are specifically targeted on the depressions present on the chewing surfaces of teeth.

Ideally, brushing is meant for the smooth surface of teeth, while flossing for between teeth. Getting rid of the food residues and bacteria in the depressions of the occlusal of teeth cannot be properly achieved through regular cleaning. In this case, sealants offer a layer of protection to the back teeth, against food residue, bacteria, and plaque.

Who Should Get Sealants?

Protecting the health of your teeth can be done for all ages. Even so, it should start as early as possible. Dental sealants are mostly used for children and teenagers. Kids are most susceptible to tooth decay, thanks to poor oral hygiene, not to mention, their love for candy. Your visit to a pediatric dentist in 06460 for your child’s dental exam should be very informative on the need for dental sealants.

Your child should get dental sealants on his/her premolars and molars as soon as they grow. The procedure is helpful for permanent teeth as opposed to milk teeth. However, if the depressions and grooves on your child’s baby teeth are too deep, sealants can also be used until they fall off. If your child is in the cavity-prone age, which is between 6 years old and 14 years, visit a pediatric dentist near you to get the dental sealants.

However, this does not mean that adults cannot qualify for dental sealants. While at the pediatric dentist in Milford CT, you can inquire more about sealants for adults. For adults, the treatment is offered in the event of decaying. It can also be offered for patients of dental fillings.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The initial process of this treatment involves a thorough dental exam by a pediatric dentist. This will help examine the teeth for plaque buildup and any traces of decaying or cavity. After that, the following steps will be involved:

  • Teeth cleaning – deep cleaning of the teeth will help get rid of any existing bacteria in the teeth. This will also help clean out any plaque and tartar that might result in tooth decay.
  • Drying – for the premolars and molars, they have to be thoroughly dried after cleaning. This means placing a cotton padding or any other absorbent material on the target teeth.
  • Acid application – the dentist will use an acidic solution on the molars and premolars being treated. The idea is to make them rough on the edges. This will facilitate the proper bonding of the sealants to the teeth.
  • Rinsing – usually to wash off the acidic solution from the depressions of the teeth.
  • Sealant application – the dental sealant is applied to each teeth. The application is on the enamel of teeth, and the chewing surface only. The sealant has to dry and harden to ensure effectiveness. Sometimes, a special light can be used to facilitate the hardening of the sealant. Once it is dry and hardened, you can resume regular chewing. Dental sealants can be brushed with a toothbrush throughout oral hygiene routines.

How Long Does a Dental Sealant Last?

Dental sealants are durable, if well maintained. A sealant should last for around 10 years. However, the patient requires frequent dental checkups to examine the condition of the sealant. Since they are meant to protect the chewing surfaces, they should completely seal the tooth from bacteria, acids and food residue. Any cracks and chips can compromise their function. Luckily, dental sealants can be replaced by a dentist when the need arises.

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