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All about Dental Sealants

If you want an extra level of protection for your teeth or your children’s teeth, consider dental sealants.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is applied onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth, usually the back molars. These areas are particularly difficult to clean, which means that they are at a higher risk for cavities. Sealants “seal out” food particles and plaque that can threaten the health of your teeth. They can be white or slightly tinted, but usually are clear, so that they are generally indistinguishable from untreated teeth.

When should dental sealants be placed?

If you want to have dental sealants applied to your children’s teeth, the best time to do it is once the permanent teeth come in. Children are especially prone to cavities between the ages of six and fourteen.

How are dental sealants applied?

First, the teeth being treated will be cleaned thoroughly, rinsed, and then dried. An acidic solution will be placed on the tooth for several seconds and rinsed off. This etches the tooth, or creates tiny grooves in it, to help the sealants to better adhere. Dental sealants are then painted onto the tooth enamel where it will bond with the tooth. A special curing light helps it to harden quickly.

How long do dental sealants last?

Sealants can last up to ten years, but they still require regular check-ups at the dentist office to make sure that they haven’t chipped or been worn away. If a sealant is damaged in any way, it can be removed and replaced with a new one.

What’s the difference between a sealant and a filling?

Sealants are a preventative measure to prevent tooth decay while fillings are restorative and placed to treat a tooth already affected by decay.

If you’re interested in having dental sealants placed, contact our office today!

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