When it comes to health, prevention is a much better option than cure. Whenever you get a chance to keep something from ever happening rather than having to experience it all it will work in your favour. Sealants are a viable and increasingly popular prevention option for children and teenagers to ensure that they maintain good oral health over time.
What are Sealants?
Dental sealants are a dental treatment in which a plastic coating is placed on the surface of teeth in order to protect them from decay. The coating is usually placed on the chewing surfaces of adult molars and premolars at the back of the mouth. These teeth have pits and grooves that are often hard to reach for some during brushing. Food is more likely to get trapped in these areas, attracting bacteria and potentially leading to decay via cavities. Sealants would create a protective barrier of thin durable plastic that is painted onto the tooth.
Why are Sealants Beneficial?
Dental sealants can protect the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to ensure that teeth are intact and healthy. Fillings are the most common treatment for cavities however they can only do their job once the actual tooth itself has been permanently damaged. Sealants makes cavities on those areas of your teeth impossible as they never come in contact with food and bacteria. Sealants last at least five years and should be inspected at every regularly scheduled dental visit. The application of sealants is a quick and non-invasive process that is done after a cleaning. A liquid that makes the surface of the tooth rougher is applied to the tooth. Once this happens it is easier for a plastic coating to be painted into each nook and cranny of a tooth’s chewing surface.
Once in place, they are discreet enough to get used to quickly and not be seen by others during conversations and meals. They can also be easily reapplied if your hygienist or dentist notices that it has been worn down over time. In order for sealants to be most effective they should be applied as early as possible. Once a child's adult molars come in, progressively during the ages of 6 to 12, it is beneficial to apply sealants.
Sealants are by no means an excuse for poor oral hygiene habits or a healthy diet.. Regular fluoride through toothpaste and communal water as well as regular dental visits are also important to ensure that the teeth you are protecting do not have cavities in other areas.
Photos: Affinity Dental Clinics