One of the keys to good dental health is prevention. Regular brushing and flossing is a great place to start, however, for young patients and patients whose teeth do not have cavities dental sealants are another great option. In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.
Maintaining healthy teeth helps to prevent more than just tooth decay. In fact, a healthy mouth will help prevent other systemic issues related to poor oral hygiene, like diabetes, heart disease, and even kidney cancer. Your mouth is the gateway to your body and plays a large part in your overall health.
What are cavities?
To understand what sealants do it’s helpful to understand what the process of tooth decay is. Cavities are caused by naturally occurring bacteria feeding off food in your mouth. If you don’t brush or floss properly, these bacteria multiply rapidly and create an acid by-product that eats away at the surface of your teeth.
What is a sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic coating painted over the biting surface of a tooth. Because these areas have grooves that collect food, they’re where most cavities tend to develop. By applying this thin layer to baby teeth or cavity free adult teeth you can help prevent cavities and tooth decay for years to come.
Are dental sealants harmful?
No. Countless studies have proven that the BPA released from a dental sealant is less that what you would acquire by simply breathing air. Sealants are harmless and can save you from the stress and pain that comes with tooth decay.
Why put sealants on baby teeth?
We commonly have parents ask why baby teeth should be protected if they’re going to fall out. The simple answer is that these teeth provide the blueprint for you child’s mouth. They help them develop speech patterns and keep the spacing appropriate for the adult teeth that will come in.
How are sealants applied?
The application process for dental sealants is totally painless. Dr. Smith first cleans and drys your teeth. He then applies what’s called an etching gel to your tooth. This gel helps roughen the surface so that the sealant adheres properly. Once the tooth is etched the sealant is applied and a curing light is used to make sure it sets.
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants can last up to ten years. That’s ten years of protection from tooth decay and ten years of peace of mind.
Are dental sealants expensive?
Dental sealants are an inexpensive way to protect your teeth from decay, which ultimately costs more, in the long run, to repair and treat. We charge per tooth and because we typically do the back teeth, your cost should be affordable.
If you’re interested in getting dental sealants for yourself or your child, contact our office. Dr. Smith is a gentle dentist who’s committed to providing you with an exceptional experience. He can determine if you’re a candidate for sealants and explain the process to you.