In addition to good oral hygiene there are other ways to protect teeth from decay. Dental sealants can protect teeth and seal them off from decay-causing bacteria. Dental sealants are made of resin and are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay. The resin fits into the depressions and grooves of the teeth. The sealants protect tooth enamel from the bacteria and acids that cause decay. While brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles often can’t reach into the teeth’s depressions and grooves. Sealants protect those areas and prevent food and bacteria from getting in.
Dr.’s Hood, Dodson, and Walpole can apply sealants easily, and it only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth. The dentist first cleans the teeth that will be sealed, then he or she will roughen the chewing surfaces with an acid solution which will help the sealant stick to the teeth. The dentist then “paints” the sealant on the tooth. It bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes your dentist will use a special curing light to help the sealant harden. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant application. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them as necessary.
Sealants are extremely safe, though some people may have an allergic reaction to the resin. Talk to your dentist if you or your children have allergies so that he or she can provide the best treatment options. The sealant material we use here at Evergreen Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is BPA free! Another perk to sealants is that depending on your insurance provider there may be coverage for not only your children but for yourself as well. Make sure to check with your dental insurance company about your sealant coverage.