For some, standard oral health care, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings, is not enough to prevent the build-up of tartar and the appearance of cavities. Dental sealants are an excellent option for protecting the tooth surface.
Sanders & Soult Family Dentistry provides experienced treatment and consultation involving dental sealants. From the initial exam through the placement of the sealant and follow-up maintenance, we are ready to help you protect your teeth.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a non-invasive treatment that helps prevent tooth decay by sealing the grooves in the molars and premolars. These grooves can be tough to keep clean and free of debris, as well as from certain acids that damage tooth enamel. Dental sealants protect these sensitive surfaces, significantly reducing tooth decay in the back teeth.
Dentists use dental sealants on permanent teeth in adults and children; sealants are usually not used on “baby” teeth. Dental sealants are not a substitute for good oral hygiene, but they can be instrumental in preventing tooth decay in pediatric dental patients and adults.
Dental Sealant Application Procedure
Once you and your dentist conclude that dental sealants are the best choice for your teeth, the process of placement is simple. Your dentist goes through these steps to apply dental sealant:
- Cleans the occlusal surface of the teeth (molars and premolars) and checks for decay
- Dries each tooth and surround it with cotton to absorb all moisture during the procedure
- Cleans each tooth with etchant (a mild acid solution) to roughen the tooth surface so the sealant materials adhere well
- Rinses away etchant and dries the teeth again
- Paints the sealant on the occlusal surface of each tooth
- Uses a curing light to harden the sealant materials
Dental Sealant Care
Routine brushing and flossing are the standard care for dental sealants. A soft-bristle toothbrush and a re-mineralizing toothpaste are ideal for daily maintenance and oral health care.
Dental sealants last anywhere from 3 to 10 years and potentially longer with the proper care. Sealants may pop off when chewing some foods, so be careful when eating chewy, gummy, or sticky foods. Also, sealants may not last as long in patients who:
- Eat a highly acidic diet
- Suffer from acid reflux
- Have bruxism (tooth grinding)
Dental sealants may stain if your diet is high in berries, coffee, tea, or red wine, and patients may need teeth whitening treatments to remove the discoloration.
For more information about dental sealants and whether they are right for you and your family, contact Sanders & Soult Family Dentistry at (303) 337-2794. We will discuss all available cavity prevention options with you and help you choose the best oral health treatments for you and your family. Call us today for exceptional dental care in Aurora!
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