While brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities, it can be hard to reach every spot on your teeth. Sealants, a thin protective coating that adheres to your teeth, is there to help aid you in your quest to protect your teeth! Typically it is placed over your molars, your teeth in the back of your mouth. Sealants are definitely not a substitute for your usual brushing and flossing, but can help to keep cavities at bay and even hinder the early stages of decay.
How Do Sealants Work?
Sealants are like raincoats for your teeth. When bacteria that causes cavities meet leftover food particles, they exude acid that develop holes, or cavities, in your teeth. Sealants keep the food bits out and prevent the bacteria and acid from making a home on your teeth, like a raincoat keeps you from getting wet in the rain.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Sealants will be applied following a cleaning of your teeth. First, your dentist will dry your teeth after its cleaning and apply an acidic gel. This gel will rough up your tooth’s surface so that the sealant will bond to your tooth! After a couple seconds, the gel will be rinsed off and your tooth will be dried once again before the application of your sealant over the grooves of your teeth. Once applied, your dentist will use a blue light to harden the sealant.
Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?
Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants often last for several years before they need reapplication. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.