How Do Dental Sealants Work?

One of the biggest detriments to teeth is decay, caused by bacteria that feed off food debris left on the teeth. While brushing and flossing regularly can remove most food particles from the teeth, there are always some small traces that are left behind in between teeth or in crevices. The back molars are the most difficult to keep clean and more likely to be susceptible to decay. Dental sealants can help protect teeth from decay, preventing cavities and the need for fillings in the teeth.

Dental decay forms from acids released by bacteria in the mouth as they feed on food particles on the teeth. The acid eats away at the tooth material, creating holes through the enamel and into the structure of the tooth. Left unabated, decay can cause tooth sensitivity, pain and eventually destroy the tooth structure. Daily dental hygiene can help remove the food debris, but it is impossible to remove all of it from the teeth on your own.Dental sealants add an extra layer of protection to reduce decay damage and protect the teeth from cavities.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin layer of a plastic substance that are applied to the teeth, usually just the back molars. This film is clear and unnoticeable, but it does an excellent job improving cavity protection. This can greatly reduce the number of fillings and other dental work needed over the years, protecting the teeth and reducing dental costs. Dental sealants are used mainly for kids and teens to protect their back molars that are hard to keep clean, but anyone can have this protective film applied. It is quick and painless and dental sealants can last up to ten years.

Do Dental Sealants Need to be Removed?

There is no need to have dental sealants removed. Once they are applied, they slowly wear off. They are safe to be ingested and are eliminated by the body. When the coating is completely gone, new sealant can be reapplied if needed for those who are particularly susceptible to dental decay. Dental sealants can also be helpful for those with thin enamel that may suffer from extreme sensitivity to hot, cold or certain substances on their teeth by adding more protection to the tooth surface.

At Pearland Family Dentistry, we strive to help our patients maintain healthy, beautiful smiles at any age. Preventive care is key to reducing cavities and other dental health issues, including the use of dental sealants for some patients. Contact our office in Houston to schedule your next checkup and ask about whether dental sealants might be right for you.

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