One of the best preventative measures includes dental sealants. These tools can help protect your teeth against bacteria that cause decay by acting like a barrier. They are typically applied to the back teeth, including molars and premolars where decay typically happens. If you live in New York, you may want to consider these options so that your teeth stay safer and healthier, especially if you eat a lot of junk or sugar.
How They Help
Most people accept that a sealant works, but may not understand how it works or what it does. Typically, the sealant is a type of plastic material that is applied to all the chewing surfaces for the back teeth, typically molars and premolars. It is considered a plastic resin and it bonds to the grooves and depressions of the back tooth chewing surface. Once it is in place and has dried, it will act as a barrier to the enamel and natural pits of the tooth.
Acids and plaque cannot penetrate the sealant, nor can brushing and flossing. In fact, brushing and flossing your teeth will help remove more plaque and food from the tooth’s surface and is the best defense against tooth decay.
Is It Complicated?
Most people worry that the process will be difficult or long, cause pain or in another way be complicated. However, they are typically easy to apply by a professional dentist and will only take about five minutes to apply to each tooth. If you are having a sealant applied to every back tooth, it could take about half an hour or so to finish the task.
The teeth that are about to be sealed will first be cleaned. Once the teeth are clean, a special acid solution is placed on the chewing surfaces to roughen them up, which helps adhere the sealant to the teeth. It is then placed onto the tooth enamel in such a way that it feels like your teeth are being painted. The bond is quick and then the sealant hardens. Many times, dentists use a curing light to help it harden quickly and thoroughly.
The process is strong enough to handle regular chewing and can last many years before reapplications are required.
Can Adults Have Them?
While children are most prone to the problems that a dental sealant can help with, adults can have the process done, as well.