Though brushing and flossing are very effective at maintaining healthy teeth, they are not the only methods for preventing cavities. Dental sealants are a treatment provided at Almeda Dental to help the patients in Houston avoid tooth decay.
Sealants are a thin plastic coating applied to the teeth. They are usually used to treat the occlusal (chewing) surface of the molars and premolars in the back of the mouth because these are the most difficult to reach when brushing. Dental sealants fill in the grooves on the surfaces of the teeth and create a protective barrier over them, keeping harmful bacteria and food debris away.
Sealants are more commonly recommended as a treatment for children and adolescents because they can be at a higher risk of developing cavities than adults. However, adults can also be treated, and other teeth can have sealants applied (though this is less common).
The procedure for applying dental sealants usually takes just one appointment lasting about an hour. The teeth will first be cleaned thoroughly, then rinsed and dried. A slightly acidic solution will be placed on them to “etch” the tooth surfaces. This slightly roughens the surface to help the sealants to bond more securely. Once the solution is rinsed off, and the teeth have been dried again, the dental sealants can be applied. They will be hardened using a special curing light. It will be recommended to refrain from eating, drinking, or rinsing for about half an hour after the procedure, but following that, you’ll be able to use your teeth as normal again.
Patients who receive dental sealants should keep in mind that their teeth are simply protected from decay, not immune to it. Proper oral care habits will need to be kept, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Regular dental appointments will also be necessary to monitor not only overall oral health, but how the sealants are holding up. If they begin to wear down or are damaged, they can be reapplied. With proper care, however, dental sealants can last for several years.
If you are looking for an extra level of protection for your teeth or for your children’s teeth, dental sealants can do the job. Contact Almeda Dental in Houston to schedule an appointment.