Dental sealants are a hybrid plastic material used to protect the back teeth from the effects of decay. Here, a panel of dentist professionals answer questions regarding dental sealants and offers information on how to avoid decay in the first place.
Q: Can you explain why dental sealants are important? Isn’t brushing and flossing enough to protect my teeth?
A: While proper dental hygiene – including brushing twice a day and flossing regularly – are absolutely vital in the battle against tooth decay, these actions alone may not quite do the trick. Toothbrushes are not designed in a way that allow them to efficiently reach into the grooves of our back molars to remove food particles and plaque buildup.
Q: How difficult is it to apply dental sealants?
A: When you find a dentist who is experienced in routine and preventative care, it is an extremely easy procedure. Sealants are applied with a small paint brush-like tool and allowed to harden on the surface. The plastic resin seeps into each tooth’s unique topography where it works to prevent food from entering these crevices when you eat or drink.
Q: How often are sealants applied?
A: Sealants are typically applied every few years. They hold up well against everyday use. Once you find a dentist to apply your initial sealant, he or she will follow up at each visit to ensure that the surface is intact.
Q: Who is typically a good candidate for dental sealants?
A: While adults can benefit from the protection that sealants offer, children and teenagers are more likely to need this line of defense.
Q: How can I avoid tooth decay?
A: You will first want to find a dentist approved fluoride toothpaste. These products carry the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal Of Approval. Visit your dentist regularly and make sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes limited access to sugary (and especially sticky) snacks. Keep in mind that your overall health and well-being depends largely on your daily oral hygiene.