How to stop getting cavities? What is a sealant for teeth?
Dental cavities are among the top oral problems among children and adults. In restorative dentistry, dentists spend most of their time repairing tooth cavities to increase the life of teeth. However, they remain a global problem that can affect anyone regardless of age.
Fortunately, many treatment protocols are available in dentistry for both preventive and reparative care concerning dental cavities. Learning the difference between oral solutions like dental fillings and dental sealants can significantly affect your long-term oral health.
What Are Dental Sealants?
They are direct dental fillings that protect teeth from dental cavities in preventive dentistry. Our dental sealants in Pocahontas feature a clear glass-like material that creates barriers on the chewing surfaces of teeth. When a dental sealant is on your teeth, it becomes a protective shield that will prevent bacteria from directly damaging your teeth’ enamels.
What Is Dental Sealant Used for?
Dental sealants are a brilliant preventive solution for patients prone to dental cavities. Typically, dentists employ dental sealants in pediatric dentistry, particularly for children between 6 and 14 years old. However, other groups of people can still get tooth cavities.
Besides, dental sealants are not just useful for preventing dental caries. In several cases, dental experts employ oral sealants for sensitive teeth. Therefore, dental sealants can protect your teeth roots from exposure, primarily the most common cause of heightened tooth sensitivity.
How Can Sealants Help in Fighting Cavities?
The primary way that dental sealants work is by preventing dental cavities. Although dental sealants for adults are also instrumental in overcoming tooth sensitivity, fighting dental caries is the primary role of oral sealants. Tooth sealants help fight cavities in two main ways.
Dental sealants prevent dental caries by creating a tamper-proof layer over the chewing surfaces of teeth. This trait makes teeth sealants only valuable for protecting back teeth that are molars and premolars. When the sealant material fills the cusps and fissures of the back teeth, bacteria cannot penetrate to access the teeth enamels. In this way, plaque will not form directly on your teeth.
Another way dental sealants fight cavities is by releasing fluoride on teeth. Some types of oral sealants are made in a way that they release controlled amounts of fluoride mineral on your teeth. The mineral is essential for boosting the strength of teeth while increasing their resistance to bacteria that cause dental cavities.
How Effective Are Dental Sealants?
Many patients who get dental sealants before developing dental caries report a significantly lower rate of future restorative treatments. However, dental sealants alone are not sufficient for preventing dental cavities. You must ensure you keep up with other dental care protocols for managing excellent oral health. For example, brushing and flossing your teeth every day are mandatory practices for proper oral health.
Besides, consider that sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. If you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, cavities can develop on the rest of your teeth, not to mention between your molars and premolars.
Another factor you must consider is that dental sealants do not last forever. They can only protect your teeth for a limited period. Typically, when your dental sealants begin to wear off, you must visit us at Pocahontas Dental Associates for retreatment to replace your tooth sealant.
How Long Do Tooth Sealants Last?
Typically, dental sealants last between 5 and 10 years. Within this period, they can sometimes fail, allowing bacteria to harm your teeth. It largely depends on your oral care routines to preserve your dental health.
Some of the things that can compromise the longevity and effectiveness of dental sealants are:
- Chewing, crushing, or biting hard foods – like ice, popcorn kernels, and candies.
- Poor oral hygiene – dental sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth or flossing.
- Wearing down – your dental sealants may sometimes wear off earlier than others.
- Neglecting dental visits – once you get dental sealants, you should keep up your appearances for regular visits. They allow your dentist to examine and evaluate your oral cavity while determining whether your oral sealants are still in good condition.