The best way to ensure your teeth are healthy is to brush and floss twice a day, rinse with a fluoride-based mouthwash, and religiously see your dentist every six months. While it’s not one hundred percent guaranteed that doing all of these things will keep your teeth from becoming decayed or forming cavities, prevention is always the most helpful tool at your personal disposable. Your dentist can see every six months if there are cavities forming, which means they’re caught early and easily treated. We can also tell if there are other oral health issues you need to consider before it’s too late.
One way to aid the process of keeping your teeth nice and healthy is through the use of dental sealants. These sealants are applied to your teeth to protect them from bacteria that causes decay in the mouth. They’re made of plastic, and they are easily placed on the area of your teeth on which you chew. Fitted to what dental professionals call pits and fissures, they keep food and bacteria from being lodged and stuck in the areas that are most prone to decay. It’s the enamel that requires the most attention, and that means you get to keep it safe and free of bacteria uses sealants.
The application process is a fairly simple one. Our team of dental professionals can apply sealants in a matter of minutes to the outside of your teeth. However, there is a bit of a process involved in this application.
First, your dentist cleans the teeth. They need to be free of all debris, bacteria, and anything else that might find its way into the pits and fissures. Sometimes, the dentist may need to use the drill to check inside the grooves for pre-existing decay.
Second, the dentist will use a special tool to help make the outside of your teeth a little rough along the pits and fissures. This is done because the sealant will not stick as well otherwise. The final step to apply to sealants is to use a form of a brush to almost paint the sealants on to the teeth. Once the sealant is painted onto the tooth, it takes a few moments to bond to the surface and harden. The dentist will use a light that’s designed to help the sealant harden quickly so you can get on with your day and enjoy the time you have.
Adequate and proper flossing and brushing is enough to protect your teeth when you see your dentist regularly, but some people find that their teeth are simply prone to decay no matter how well they care for their oral health. Your toothbrush is not strong enough to reach into the deepest pits and fissures, which means that bacteria and food are capable of getting into those pits and causing bacteria to grow between dental appointments. Sealants are not required for anyone who wants to protect their teeth, but they are an additional measure to keep them as protected as possible for those who really do have teeth prone to decay.
The great news about sealants is that they are long-lasting. Most last years at a time, but there are situations in which you may find a sealant is no longer effective. For example, an accident or an injury to the mouth or teeth might cause a sealant to break or chip. If your sealant needs to be replaced, your dentist can tell you about it during your six months check-up. Otherwise, normal chewing and everyday activities will not affect the strength and durability of the sealant on a regular basis.
Having something painted onto the outside of your teeth might seem like an easy situation, but there is a side effect you must be aware of. It’s a minor side effect and it doesn’t happen often, but it’s possible that some people will find they are allergic to the plastic that’s applied to the teeth. If you are aware of any allergies in yourself or your kids, talk to your dentist about it before getting sealants so your dentist can come up with a treatment plan that will work for you.
The cost associated with sealants is minimal. Most offices will provide you a sealant for approximately $30 to $40 per tooth, and that cost is without insurance. Many insurance providers pay for the cost of sealants if they are being applied to the permanent molars in teens and children. The only way to know if your dental insurance covers the cost is to call the agent and ask whether there is a portion of your plan that covers the cost.
If you’re wondering whether sealants are the right option for your family, it’s best to talk to your dental professional about your concerns. The dental professionals in our offices are able to look at your chart, examine your oral health and family health history, and work with you to make an informed decision about the process. However, it’s best to have this done when your kids are young. The most common time to opt for sealants in kids is around the time your children turn five and through their teens. The purpose is to cover up the permanent teeth as the come through to help keep them safer and healthier for a longer time.
The American Dental Association recommends sealants because they are capable of reducing the number of cavities children develop over time. The approximate decrease is sixty percent. Call our offices to schedule a consultation to discuss the option of sealants in your kids. Our dental professionals will help you make an informed decision that can help you change the course of your kids’ oral health. Oral health is directly tied to overall health, which means keeping your kid’s teeth healthy is a simple preventative measure for keeping your kids healthy for life.