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Dental Sealants: An FAQ For Beginners

Pediatric Dentists In Gainesville VA

Adult teeth typically start to come in around age six. Until then, baby teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, and damage to them can cause substantial problems later. This is just one reason it’s critical to prioritize dental care from a young age. Sealants are just one general dentistry practice that helps to protect the teeth from decay. Before you get sealants for yourself or your child, however, it’s important to understand the facts. Here’s a quick FAQ to help you understand how sealants work.

What is a dental sealant?

Sealants are protective coatings that help to keep your teeth clean and protect against cavities and decay. A dentist can apply them quickly and painlessly to both adults and children for a cavity-fighting boost.

“Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth — just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm,” says MouthHealthy.

How do dentists apply sealants?

Once your dentist cleans and dries your teeth, they’ll place an acidic gel intended to rough the surface of the tooth. Then, the dentist rinses the gel and applies the sealant directly into the grooves of the molar, then hardens it using a special blue light.

How long do sealants maintain their bacteria-fighting effects?

When applied properly, sealants should last for several years before needing to be replaced. Typically, your dentist will check the condition of sealants during each cleaning and reapply them if needed.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for dental sealants?

Your dentist can tell you whether or not dental sealants are right for you. It’s usually best to get them earlier rather than later for the best cavity-fighting effects. But there’s no age limit for who can get sealants. Just bring it up during your next cleaning and see what your dentist thinks.

Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Sealants may not be the right option for everybody, but they’re a proven way to help prevent cavities. For more information about pediatric dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.