Why Sealants on Teeth: Protecting Your Pearly Whites
As we all know, dental hygiene is an essential part of our overall well-being. It is important to take good care of our teeth, not just because it ensures a beautiful smile, but because it prevents tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. In order to prevent decay, many dentists recommend the use of sealants on teeth. In this article, we will explore why sealants are important, how they work, and who can benefit from them.
What Are Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). These surfaces have pits and fissures that are difficult to clean, making them vulnerable to decay. By filling in these crevices, sealants create a barrier that prevents bacteria and food particles from accumulating and causing cavities.
Sealants are typically made of a plastic resin that hardens after application. They are clear or white in color, so they are virtually invisible once they are in place. They can last for several years and can be reapplied if needed.
Who Can Benefit from Sealants?
Sealants are especially beneficial for children and teenagers, as their teeth are more susceptible to cavities due to their dietary habits and brushing techniques. However, adults can also benefit from sealants, especially if they have a history of cavities or if they have deep crevices in their back teeth.
People who wear braces or have other orthodontic appliances can also benefit from sealants, as these devices can make it more difficult to clean teeth thoroughly. Athletes who participate in contact sports can benefit from sealants as well, as the hard impact of these activities can cause dental trauma and increase the risk of cavities.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Getting sealants is a quick and painless procedure that can be done during a regular dental check-up. Here's what you can expect:
1. Cleaning: The dentist will first clean and dry the teeth that will receive sealants.
2. Etching: A special solution will be used to roughen the surface of the teeth, making it easier for the sealant to adhere.
3. Application: The sealant will be painted onto the tooth surface and allowed to flow into the crevices.
4. Curing: A curing light will be used to harden the sealant and make it durable.
5. Checking: The dentist will check the sealants to make sure they are properly applied and fully cured.
After the sealants are in place, you can resume your normal activities immediately. There are no special precautions you need to take, other than continuing to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
Are There Any Risks?
Sealants are very safe and have been used for decades with no adverse effects. However, some people may be concerned about the materials used in sealants. Some sealants contain BPA, a chemical that has been linked to various health problems. However, the amount of BPA in sealants is minimal, and the risk of exposure is very low. If you have concerns about BPA, talk to your dentist beforehand.
Sealants are a simple and effective way to protect your teeth from decay. They are safe, painless, and can last for several years. If you're looking for a way to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong, ask your dentist about sealants at your next visit..