Dental sealants are a plastic material that is applied to teeth to form a barrier against bacteria that can form cavities. Vulnerable areas of the teeth, particularly the grooves and depressions in molars, can be protected by sealing out plaque and food particles. Although brushing and flossing remove food, sometimes toothbrush bristles are unable to reach completely into the deep grooves.
How are sealants applied to the teeth?
First, the teeth are cleaned and prepared to accept the sealant, which is a plastic resin material. The sealant is easily applied by painting the material onto the biting surface of the tooth. It bonds directly to the tooth and a special UV curing light is used to harden it into a barrier, protecting the teeth from plaque, acids and sugars. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface is protected from decay.
Can you see sealants on the teeth?
Sealants are generally clear or white, and cannot be seen when you smile or talk.
How long do sealants last?
When properly applied, sealants can last for several years under the force of normal chewing. Your dentist will check the condition of sealants during your regular check-ups. Over time, they will wear off, so there is never a need for a removal process.
Do I still need to brush my teeth when I have sealants?
Absolutely. Regular brushing and flossing are always essential to good dental health.
Are sealants for adults as well as for children?
Children and teens are the most likely candidates for sealants, as they are growing developing healthy tooth maintenance habits. However, adults can also benefit from having sealants applied.