According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults aged 20-64 have cavities in their permanent teeth. Tooth decay is caused by a combination of factors, including poor dental hygiene, a diet high in sugar, and a lack of fluoride. Sealants are a simple way to prevent tooth decay in children and adults.
Sealants are plastic coatings that create a barrier between the tooth and bacteria, food particles, and acids. They are most effective when applied early before cavities have a chance to form. Therefore, parents need to talk to their dentist about sealants for their children as soon as their permanent teeth come in
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, clear coating applied to premolars and molars chewing surfaces. Sealants protect these teeth from decay by filling in the grooves and pits that are difficult to clean with a toothbrush.
The American Dental Association recommends that sealants be placed on all primary (baby) molars as soon as they erupt and on permanent molars as soon as they come in. Children’s teeth are more susceptible to decay because of their developing teeth and lack of good oral hygiene habits.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have determined that dental sealants are safe for children and adults.
However, there are some risks associated with their use. Sealants contain trace amounts of BPA, but the ADA reports there is no evidence of health problems due to exposure. Sealants may also cause allergies in people with plastic sensitivities. While these risks are minor, they should be considered when deciding to get dental sealants.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
The sealant application process is quick and easy and can be done during a regular dental visit:
- The teeth are cleaned and dried.
- An acidic gel is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, which roughens the enamel so that the sealant can adhere better.
- The sealant is applied directly to the teeth and allowed to harden.
Are Dental Sealants Effective?
Studies have shown that sealants can reduce the incidence of cavities by between 80% and 95%. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to apply, making them a popular choice for preventative dental care.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Most sealants can last up to nine years before they need to be replaced. However, some factors can shorten their lifespan. If you have bruxism (teeth grinding), acid reflux, or a diet high in sugar or acid, the sealants may not last as long. Sealants can also come off if they are not applied correctly or if you do not take good care of your teeth.
Get Dental Sealants at Valley Dental Care of Plainfield
Valley Dental Care of Plainfield offers dental sealants to our patients. They are quick and easy to apply and can last for years with proper care. Sealants are essential to a child’s oral health care because they help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
If you would like more information about dental sealants, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Valley Dental Care of Plainfield at (815) 436-6800.