Dental sealants are made from liquid plastics that harden once applied to the teeth. Dental sealants are used as a tooth cavity treatment, usually for kids. Dental sealants protect the teeth by coating the grooves of molars and premolars’ chewing surfaces. The teeth grooves or fissures are deep and hard to reach by a brush, making them prone to tooth decay. Sealants are used to cover these deep surfaces to avoid food particles from sticking there. Sealants should not be placed on still growing teeth but on permanent teeth.
Dental sealants protect dental surfaces from the accumulation of plaque in your teeth’s hard-to-reach areas. Plaque bacteria create acid by breaking down sugar from foods and drinks. This acid deteriorates your teeth enamel and prompts the development of cavities. Wearing dental sealants are just an addition to your oral care and not a replacement for brushing and flossing. The application of dental sealants should be made by a dental professional.
This article explores six facts about dental sealants.
1. Placing dental sealants is easy
Applying dental sealants is very easy and only takes a few minutes of your time. The process revolves around six to seven quick steps. The first one is cleaning the teeth. It allows for food particle removal and tooth decay inspection. The second step involves drying the teeth and placing a substance to keep it dry. In the third step, your dentist will clean your teeth with an acid etch solution. After rinsing the etchant, the next step is drying again. The fifth step is to paint the sealant on the teeth. Lastly, the sealant will solidify by using a curing light.
2. Dental sealants are only prevention for tooth decay
Severe pre-existing tooth decay should be treated beforehand if you want to wear dental sealants. Teeth sealants can treat tiny cavities to inhibit the expansion of tooth decay. Dental sealants do not treat major tooth decay.
3. Dental sealants are sturdier that can last for up to 10 years
High-quality teeth sealants can serve your teeth for as long as three to ten years. Sealants may be quicker to wear out for people who grind their teeth, frequently eat acidic foods, and have acid reflux.
4. Dental sealants are cleaned through regular brushing
Your oral care regimen should not change with dental sealants. You can brush and floss as part of your dental health routine. For extra care, you can use tooth products that contain hydroxyapatite to strengthen your teeth. Hydroxyapatite is a naturally-occurring form of calcium that treats and prevents cavities and makes teeth whiter. Hydroxyapatite is present in only a few toothpastes in the market like Apaguard and Megasonex. As a precautionary measure, you should be careful when eating sticky and chewy foods to avoid popping off your teeth sealants.
5. Dental sealants are pain-free
Teeth sealants are harmless tooth cavity treatment. Research has not found any unfavorable effect of using sealants. It is important to inspect the teeth before placing sealants thoroughly. If a tooth decay exists underneath the sealants, these can still cause cavities and toothache.
6. Dental sealants are effective
Applying teeth sealants on the right spots and in perfect timing prevents cavities. Studies suggest that wearing sealants and engaging in regular dental checkups minimize cavities. In a study comparing teeth with sealants versus no sealants, fewer dental caries is found in teeth with sealants. A 2016 study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC proves that kids with dental sealants have three times fewer cavities than children without teeth sealants. According to the same research work, eighty percent of holes were inhibited by teeth sealants in children’s permanent molars.
It is good to note that while most research approves the effectivity of dental sealants, the study by CDC did not control variables such as the children’s food intake and dental care regimen. The researchers only controlled demographic variables like race, sex, family income, and the family’s head’s educational level. Taking significant variables into consideration is essential because confounding variables may affect the outcome of the study. Dental visits, dental hygiene, and diet play a role in sealants’ effects, but CDC’s research could not control these variables.