What is Dental Sealant?

Santa Fe Dental Expert Explains

Dental sealants are made of a special white or clear plastic material. Dentists place dental sealants on the top of the teeth with deep pits or grooves. This is done to add provide an extra protective layer to protect the teeth from acids and bacteria.

It acts as a physical barrier and prevents cavities.

Do You Need Dental Sealants?

When a child’s molars grow in, parents need to take their child to the dentist to get a dental sealant. Even though dental sealants are applied at a young age, some adults might also need them in case they  develop pits in their teeth which were not there before.

How Do Dentists Apply Dental Sealants?

The dentist or dental assistant will clean the tooth where the dental sealant is to be applied using a rotating brush to polish and clean it. Next, they will rinse the tooth with water and dry it. They will apply an acidic solution to roughen the surface.

This ensures the sealant material stays in place on the tooth. When the solution dries, they will apply the dental sealant as a liquid directly on top of the pits in the tooth. They will use a special light to set the dental sealant, unless they applied a two-part dental sealant. In the case of a two-part dental sealant, it will set on its own. Once the dental sealant hardens, you can bite down on it.

Dental sealants will last you several years. Usually, they last as long the tooth does, unless it is damaged. In case it’s damaged, you will need to visit the dentist to receive a new one to be placed on top of the tooth.

The Right Way to Take Care of the Dental Sealant

Once the dentists have applied the dental sealant and it has set on the tooth, you will not need to return to the dentist for any additional treatment to maintain it. You will need to take care of it at home by brushing your teeth two times each day along with flossing after meals.

An additional step you can take to take care of your dental sealant is to rinse your mouth with a fluoridated and non-alcoholic mouthwash after you brush your teeth.

What If You Never Received Dental Sealants?

If you have never received dental sealants, you should get them, as teeth with deep grooves such as molars can easily develop bacteria and result in tooth decay. Floss and toothbrush are unable to clean the pits, so the chances of bacteria developing in them increase.  

If you do not have dental sealants and bacteria forms within the pits, it can cause cavities. Protect your teeth with dental sealants today!