Dental sealants are used as a preventative measure against tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied to the surface of the teeth. It acts as a barrier between the enamel and any food particles and bacteria that may cause plaque buildup and decay.
The US Department of Health and Human Services advocates the use of dental sealants for children and teens.
A dental sealant is essentially painted onto the tooth and adheres to the enamel, preventing any damage or buildup. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly, and a gel is applied over the surface of the tooth. After a few seconds, the mouth is rinsed, and the surface of the tooth is dried off. At this point, the dental sealant is applied.
Sealants are commonly applied to the rear teeth such as molars and premolars, which are typically missed in regular brushing and flossing. The application of a dental sealant is painless, and the material dries quickly.
Dental sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to ten years. However, regular dental visits are advised to check on the sealant, and standard protective measures for oral health, including fluoride use, should still be performed.
Tooth decay is irreversible and causes permanent tooth damage. A dental sealant is a simple protective measure to seal and maintain beautiful and strong teeth. Almost everyone is at risk for developing cavities, so dental sealants can be beneficial to anyone. They protect the teeth and can reduce dental expenses in the end.