How Do Dental Sealants Protect My Teeth?

How Do Dental Sealants Protect My Teeth?

Jul 01, 2023

You can take many preventive measures in your daily dental care routine to safeguard your teeth from dental decay and its effects. Brushing teeth, flossing regularly, and using mouthwashes are some of the few popular ways to keep your mouth healthy and clean between dentist checkups. Other than these dental hygiene practices, other ways to protect teeth against dental cavities may include preventive dentistry procedures and lifestyle changes like being mindful of your diet.

Many dental experts recommend teeth sealants to patients with a high risk for tooth decay or cavities due to genetics, congenital diseases, or lifestyle.

Sealants are also recommended for children as they are the age group that is most likely to get cavities. The surfaces of teeth at the back of the mouth contain crevices and pits which trap food particles that can attract plaque and bacteria, causing decay.

Since children have not yet mastered proper brushing and flossing techniques, they’ll find it difficult to clean those tiny pits efficiently. As time passes, plaque will build up, triggering sequelae of activities leading to dental caries. Therefore, to protect your children’s teeth from dental decay, our dentist in Seattle, WA, recommends placing sealants on their teeth between the age of 6 to 12 years – when permanent teeth start to set in.

We offer preventive dentistry treatments at 3rd & Columbia Dental, including sealants for kids, sensitive teeth, teeth cleaning, and oral checkups.

What Sealants Are and How They Help Fight Cavities

A tooth sealant is a hard, thin, plastic resin coating applied to the visible enamel surfaces of teeth at the back of the mouth; the molars and premolars. The resin coating seeps into the small grooves and tiny crevices in a tooth’s chewing surface, making it smoother to prevent food particles from getting stuck and facilitating easy teeth cleaning.

Teeth sealants help to prevent decay and cavities by creating a protective layer between your teeth’ surface and the surrounding environment in the oral cavity. This environment usually harbors food particles, acids, and bacteria from saliva, all of which encourage the development of dental plaque, tooth cavities, and decay in the mouth.

The protective resin coating helps prevent bacteria accumulation in the dental grooves and seals acids out, preventing them from ever coming into close contact with the enamel. This results in stronger teeth that are resistant to decay.

Teeth sealants benefit patients most when used on teeth at the back and on permanent teeth. In most cases, dental sealants seal permanent teeth rather than baby ones. They can still be used in younger patients with baby teeth, although it happens rarely.

Adults at risk of dental cavities can also get sealants, but only if they have good dental health, specifically healthy gum tissue, and healthy teeth with no signs of decay or cavities.

Benefits of Having Teeth Sealants

The five main benefits of going for dental sealants near you are:

Help fight tooth cavities Sealants equip teeth to fight against cavities by acting as a protective barrier that shields the enamel from bacteria, acids, and harsh environmental conditions. The procedure of getting sealants is conservative in that no enamel removal or teeth modification is necessary. It is also a painless procedure that is completed in one dental visit.

  • Suitable for persons of all ages

Although sealant treatment is mostly done to children, any person with permanent teeth, regardless of age, can get dental sealants. All one needs to have to get sealants are healthy teeth and gums that are not yet affected by decay or cavities.

  • The sealant procedure is fast and painless.

Sealant application is a one-visit procedure that a dentist near you can do without anesthesia, as it is pain-free.

  • They help reduce depressions and grooves. 

Molars and premolars have deep depressions on their chewing surfaces, making cleaning them with a toothbrush challenging. Sealants cover such vulnerable areas preventing the development of decay.

  • Sealants are long-lasting

Having sealants applied to your children’s teeth during their childhood will help safeguard their teeth through their cavity-prone years. Dental sealants have a long life span when cared for properly and when re-application and repairs are done timely.