Dental sealants are a protective material made out of a type of plastic. They are placed on permanent molars in order to help prevent you or your child from getting cavities. Sealants are widely used because keeping the molars clean and free of food debris is difficult due to the molars’ shape and location in the back of the mouth. There are many reasons to consider dental sealants as a part of preventive oral health care services.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Applying dental sealants only takes a few minutes during a visit. The first step involves rinsing and drying the tooth’s surface. The dentist then applies a gel to the surface of the tooth. This gel helps to prepare the teeth for the sealant material. The gel is rinsed off, and the tooth is dried again. The sealant material is liquid, and the dentist paints it onto the tooth’s surfaces, taking care to cover all of the grooves and crevices. The dentist shines a special hand-held blue light over the teeth to harden and adhere the sealants. The dried sealant is not noticeable when you or your child smiles.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Once a child has their permanent molars, those teeth are ready to receive sealants. The first set of permanent molars appears around age 6, and the second set appears around age 12. Ideally, the sealants should be applied as soon as the teeth are fully erupted. This helps to protect them before they have a chance to develop a cavity. Although permanent molars benefit the most from dental sealants, your dentist might recommend having other teeth sealed as well. If a child’s baby teeth have deep grooves, it is possible to seal those so that they do not develop decay.
Call the office of Donald Tormey, DDS to schedule a dental appointment for yourself or your child.