Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 3.25.20 PMDental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the deep grooves in your tooth’s chewing surface. When sealing a tooth, the grooves of your teeth are filled and the tooth surface becomes smoother — and less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

Sealants are usually applied to children’s teeth as a preventative measure during the years of most likely tooth decay. However, adults’ teeth can also be sealed. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every person has unique needs. Your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants generally last from three to five years. However, it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your sealant comes off you must let your dentist know.

Sometimes brushing is not enough. Everyone has hard-to-reach spots in their mouth and brushing doesn’t always fully clean those difficult places. When that happens, you are at risk of tooth decay. Using sealants on your teeth gives you an extra line of defense against tooth decay.

 Benefits of Dental Sealants

  • Sealants protect the  grooves of the teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach
  • Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth
  • Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed
  • Sealants are a affordable and non-invasive
  • Sealants are white or clear in color, making them virtually invisible

How Dental Sealants Are Applied

Your dentist can apply a sealant to your child’s tooth in just a few easy steps:

  • The tooth receiving the sealant is thoroughly cleaned and dried.
  • An “etching” solution, which slightly roughens the tooth’s surface, is applied.
  • The liquid sealant is brushed onto the roughened surface.
  • A curing light is used to harden the sealant (or it may be left for a minute to harden on its own).
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