A Primer on Dental Sealants

A Primer on Dental Sealants

It’s an unfortunate reality that even the best practices of flossing and brushing will only do so much for the mouth. Though tooth floss and toothbrush bristles are certainly designed to get in between the teeth, they will not clean those all of those tight spaces in the mouth that your teeth and gums create.  

The teeth toward the back of the mouth, known as the molars, are especially difficult to clean.  Molars are comparably rough in texture and have some surface to navigate. The unfortunate truth is the average person’s molars have a considerable amount of food particles and bacteria that, if left unchecked, can eventually cause cavities.

Dental sealants are a tried-and-true solution to this dire problem.

The Basics of Dental Sealants

Think of dental sealants as a protective barrier comprised of plastic or another dental material.  This thin coating sticks to the chewing surface of molar teeth, providing an important layer of protection.

Dental sealants are not meant to take the place of flossing or brush your teeth. Rather, this oral health solution is meant to be used in combination with floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, and 6-month regular cleanings at the dentist’s office — in short, a comprehensive oral health wellness plan!  

Once dental sealants are applied to the molar teeth, they will prevent cavities from developing and possibly even prevent the initial signs of decay from leading to nasty cavities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental sealants decrease the chances of molar tooth decay by upwards of 80%. The CDC also reports youngsters without dental sealants have 3 times as many cavities than those who enjoy the protection provided by dental sealants.

A Quick Look at How Dental Sealants Work Their Magic

Dental sealants function similar to jackets and coats. These protective shields keep food particles out and ultimately prevent bacteria from sabotaging the teeth. Dental sealant barriers shield molar teeth similar to the ways in which a winter coat protects the skin against snow, rain and other precipitation.  

Think of the eating process as a harsh storm in your mouth. Food, bacteria and other particles will settle in on the molar teeth unless dental sealants block them from making initial contact.

Dental Sealants Candidates

Though it is primarily children who receive dental sealants, adults can also benefit from this protective dental shield. The sooner dental sealants are applied to the teeth, the better the chances are for success.  

Molar teeth tend to emerge around the age of 6 years.  Second molars emerge just before the teenage years. The optimal approach is to have these molar teeth sealed as soon as they emerge so cavities do not have an opportunity to settle. Such well-protected teeth prove healthier, stronger and cheaper to maintain as fewer dental restorations will be necessary across posterity.

Our Worry-Free Application Process

The application of dental sealants is easier than most assume, especially at Pacific Dental Care. Our process is quick, easy, and pain-free. Our oral health professionals start out by cleaning and drying the teeth to be sealed. We apply an acidic gel to the teeth that creates a lasting bond between the molar tooth and the dental sealant. The gel is then rinsed away and the dental sealant is added to the tooth’s grooves. A blue light is added to make the sealant hard, durable and capable of crushing food into small pieces that do not stick to the molar teeth.

If you have any additional questions about dental sealants, contact Pacific Dental Care today. We’ll schedule your consultation and set you up with a comprehensive oral health plan that will help you smile stay beautiful and stand the test of time.