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Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars to fortify and make them less vulnerable to cavities and decay. The thin plastic layer bonds to the tooth surface, making it harder for food debris to stick to the teeth and cause decay.
When are dental sealants necessary?
Regardless of how hard someone tries to clean their teeth, they can never thoroughly clean the nooks and crannies of the teeth. There are areas where the toothbrush does not reach, mostly at the rear end of the mouth. The molars and some premolars can be harder to clean, and this predisposes them to decay and infection. Food debris can build up in those areas and with time harden into calculus, causing cavities. Without proper oral hygiene to keep the teeth clean and protected, the patient must resort to more reliable methods of keeping their teeth safe — sealants are one of those preventive treatments.
Dental sealants are so effective that they can reduce the occurrence of decay and cavities. They are minimally invasive and stay almost invisible on the teeth, which explains why their popularity has grown immensely in the past few years.
Who should get dental sealants?
Both adults and children can benefit from dental sealants. However, they are more effective in children who are prone to cavities from an early age. The ideal time would be around six years and 12 years when the premolars and the molars erupt. Delaying this procedure could leave the child vulnerable to cavities. Sealants for adults are possible at any stage in life.
Getting dental sealants is easy and straightforward. The entire procedure takes less than an hour and could go on to offer up to 10 years of cavity protection before it starts deteriorating from normal wear and tear. The dentist will clean the teeth thoroughly and dry them before using an acidic gel to abrade the surface of the teeth to allow for sealant adherence. The gel will be rinsed off, and the sealant will be applied onto the grooves of the teeth. A special ultraviolet light will be used to harden the sealant, and the patient will be ready to go.
Sealants do not make the teeth entirely immune to damages. Bad habits such as nail biting, teeth grinding and opening bottles with the teeth could damage the protective coating and even the teeth. Anytime the patient goes for a dental appointment, the dentist will examine the sealant and repair any defect.
Sealants are generally safe with no side effects. Some patients may suffer a minor allergic reaction after getting sealants, but there is never any reason to worry. The sealant will significantly reduce the risk of cavities. They are cheap and require minimal maintenance. Parents should consider getting sealants for their children to protect them from cavities as they are fond of sweet foods. Consult your dentist to get advice on the suitability of dental sealants for your child.
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