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Dental sealants are a protective coating of plastic material that is painted onto teeth that have significant pits and grooves that can trap food particles and bacteria. Typically they are applied as soon as children get their first and second molars at 6 and 12 years old.
The dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces and act as a barrier, essentially sealing out harmful bacterial plaque and food particles. When food is left behind on the teeth, bacteria feed on sugars that are left behind and turn them into acids which attack the tooth’s enamel and eventually lead to cavities.
The molars are more susceptible to trapping these particles because the surfaces of these teeth aren’t as smooth. Dental sealants also work by making it easier to clean these teeth, as the sealants create a smoother surface on the tooth that is easier to scrub thoroughly.
Dental sealants offer 80% protection against cavities for the first 2 years. They are one of the most cost-effective preventative treatments in our preventive dental arsenal to fight against cavities and tooth decay. If you’re interested in dental sealants, contact us at Washington Metro Dental to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today.
Dental sealants last for up to 10 years if they are properly taken care of. However, sealants can become chipped, cracked, or damaged over time due to wear and tear. This is why it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits like regular brushing and flossing as well as going to the dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings.
This will ensure that your sealants last for as long as possible. We will be able to check on the condition of your sealants and inform you if they need to be reapplied. You may also need to have sealants replaced after a few years because they become less effective at protecting against tooth decay as time goes on.
To increase the longevity of your dental sealants you should practice good oral hygiene, like brushing, flossing, and regularly attending dental visits, and avoid lifestyle habits that put too much stress on your teeth. Patients who grind their teeth at night will notice their dental sealants wear down much faster than other patients.
If you suffer from bruxism, you should wear a mouthguard at night to avoid applying so much pressure to your teeth. We also recommend that you refrain from using your teeth as tools, smoking, or chewing on hard and sticky foods.
Yes! Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush. Clean all surfaces of the teeth without applying too much pressure. You should be brushing your teeth for 2 minutes at a time and flossing at least once a day, whether or not you have dental sealants, to maintain optimal oral health.