Do you notice grooves on chewing surfaces of your molar teeth? Dental sealants are applied on these areas to prevent tooth decay.
These grooves on the molar teeth, also known as fissures, can be tough to clean. Sometimes, they are even narrower than toothbrush strands. This is why plaque loves to hang around in these areas.
Dental sealants can either be clear or white so they can only be seen when viewed up close. Once the molar tooth has grown, sealants can be applied. Both children and adults can benefit from dental sealants although they are more often used by the former. This is because the earlier sealants are applied, the better. This helps prevent cavities from developing.
The best way to keep our teeth protected from cavities is by regular brushing and flossing. However, because of uneven surfaces, bacteria still find their way to the teeth. Dental sealants provide that extra protection we need.
According to a report published in October 2016 by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention, sealants protect teeth of school age children against 80% of cavities for 2 years. It continues to offer protection against 50% of activities up to 4 years. The CDC also found that school-age children without sealants have 3 times more cavities than those with sealants.
As per the American Dental Association, meanwhile, dental sealants have been proven effective since 1970s. They can also last for many years although applying a new dental sealant on the same tooth surface is also possible. Even if the tooth surface already has cavities, dental sealants can still be applied.
Dental sealants should not be viewed as a replacement for brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing are both crucial for your daily dental care routine. Both fluoride and dental sealants are used to prevent tooth decay. They’re more effective when they work together.
Sealants seal chewing surfaces to keep bacteria out. They serve as a protective coating for the teeth. It won’t be able to keep teeth safe from tooth decay on its own.