Dental sealants are thin coatings made from plastic that cover your teeth. They are typically applied to your molars — an area more prone to decay — where brushing and flossing alone cannot fully protect your enamel from decay. Sealants are usually applied to children and teenagers, but adults can also receive sealants.
These plastic coatings create a barrier that protects your teeth from plaque and acids, which are the main causes of tooth decay.
Sealants do not replace brushing and flossing, but they work to protect your smile from decay and cavities.
When Are Sealants Used?
Sealants are typically used once permanent molars have fully erupted. The enamel on these teeth is thin, making them vulnerable to cavities. Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surface of the molars, covering the nooks and crannies where food particles and bacteria can get trapped.
How Do Sealants Work?
During your regular dental visits, your dentist thoroughly cleans your teeth. They then remove plaque, tartar, and stains. Although your toothbrush and floss help remove plaque from your teeth, they cannot always reach the small crevices on your teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. This is where sealants come in. Your dentist applies a thin layer of plastic to your teeth. This plastic resin bonds strongly with your teeth. Sealants protect your teeth from plaque, tartar, and stains.
Dental sealants are mostly used to fill in deep pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These pits and grooves are most often on the premolars and molars. Food and bacteria can get trapped in the deep pits and grooves, causing decay and cavities.
Are Sealants Safe?
Dentists use a special coating to apply sealants to teeth. This coating is safe for your teeth, and the sealant itself will not harm your teeth.
Dental sealants can last for several years with proper care. It’s important to keep your sealants clean by avoiding sugary and acidic foods and by brushing your teeth as recommended by your dentist.
Do Sealants Replace the Need for Fluoride?
Sealants do not replace the need for fluoride. You should still take your child in for fluoride treatments every six months. The fluoride treatments will help strengthen the enamel on the permanent teeth, while the sealants protect the teeth from cavities and decay.
To know more about the dental practice, call us at (262) 886-9440 and schedule an appointment to visit the dentist in Racine, WI.