Understanding Why Dental Sealants Are Important

Understanding Why Dental Sealants Are Important

Aug 02, 2021

In the modern-day world, there is always something extra you can do to boost your health and improve the quality of your life. Some of the things you would otherwise need to work extremely hard to achieve can be achieved easily. This can be said of dental sealants in dentistry, which help you sustain excellent oral health. They are used in preventive dental care in both general and pediatric dentistry to protect patients’ teeth against bacteria and possible infections.

What Are Dental Sealants?

As suggested by their name, they are oral materials used to seal teeth. They feature a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to seal them.

The goal of sealing teeth is to prevent harmful bacteria in the mouth from damaging the enamel thereof. Usually, dental sealants are applied to the back teeth, that is, molars and premolars. Their role is to fill the pits and cusps on the chewing surfaces of teeth. The sealant material creates a barrier on teeth that will prevent bacteria and acids from plaque from corroding the enamel of your teeth.

Another unique feature about dental sealants is that they release fluoride on teeth gradually. The fluoride mineral is an essential ingredient for sustaining strong teeth. Besides, fluoride is great at fighting bacteria that cause infections and dental cavities. In that sense, dental sealants give you double the preventive benefits for the preservation of good oral health.

Who Needs Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are chiefly used in pediatric dentistry for children’s teeth. As your child grows up from childhood into adolescence, they become more prone to dental cavities. The stakes are higher when your child grows permanent teeth. Although baby teeth still need to be protected against dental cavities, more care is accorded to permanent teeth. It is why dental sealants are very common among children between the ages of 6 and 14, who are the most prone to dental cavities.

Still, adults are not excluded from this service. Tooth sealants can also help protect your teeth even though you are older than 14 years. The only requirement is that you should not have incurred dental cavities already. Dental sealants can only prevent cavities, not treat them.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants do not last a lifetime. The protection on the chewing surfaces of your teeth is bound to wear off with time as you continue to chew food. Typically, dental sealants cover you for up to 5 years or so before you need to replace them. However, you will need regular dental exams to check the state of your sealants, ensuring that they are offering optimal protection.

Advantages of Getting Dental Sealants

Whether as an adult or a child, dental sealants provide many oral benefits to patients, including in the following areas:

  • Protecting teeth against dental cavities – if you haven’t got any cavities on your molars and premolars, you can easily lead the rest of your life without getting them. Sealants will shield your teeth’ enamels from the bacteria that causes dental cavities.
  • Boosting oral hygiene – properly cleaning teeth can be a challenge for adults, leave alone for children. The back teeth are especially difficult to clean adequately because of the deep pits and depressions on the cusps thereof. With dental sealants, however, the pits of your back teeth are filled with the sealant material. The work of properly brushing your teeth is, therefore, made easier than before.
  • Strengthening teeth – as highlighted early, sealants release fluoride on teeth, a natural mineral useful for sustaining strong and healthy teeth.
  • Getting you through tough years – for children between the ages of 6 and 14 years, cavities are more likely to occur more than any other time in their childhood. During those years of vulnerability, dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth and help them get through those tough years without compromising their oral health.
  • It is a painless and quick procedure – in under 45 minutes, your treatment will be complete and your tooth properly sealed. The procedure does not require sedation because it is painless and very quick to complete.