The Science behind Dental Sealants: How Do They Work to Protect Your Teeth?

The Science behind Dental Sealants: How Do They Work to Protect Your Teeth?

May 04, 2023

Everyone has teeth in the front and the back of their mouths. The back teeth have pits and fissures comfortable for food particles and mouth bacteria to remain trapped and create infections like cavities. Although brushing and flossing help removes most dental plaque eliminating all plaque is practically impossible, especially on the molars.

Nearly seven decades ago, the discovery of dental sealants enabled people to help smooth the pits and fissures on their back teeth, making them easier to clean and eliminate harmful microorganisms from their mouth with any food particles. Dentists aim to protect your back teeth by covering them with sealants, a slimy coating on the teeth to safeguard the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective barrier blocking out germs and food. The sealants help prevent 80 percent of cavities on the molars for two years after the application, and the protection remains ongoing against 50 percent of cavities for another four. The sealants applied on the teeth remain over them for approximately nine years, although they need regular monitoring by the dentist near you during routine appointments.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Dental sealants create a smoother surface on the molars with pits and fissures. They prevent mouth bacteria from eroding the tooth enamel to make a hole in the tooth causing permanent damage. If left untreated, cavities continue expanding, causing pain and additional infections in the tooth’s root. Molars are vulnerable to cavities primarily because of the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces. The smoother surface created by the sealants makes the back teeth comfortable to clean and functions as a preventive barrier.

Who Can Benefit from Dental Sealants?

Everyone with unrestored teeth, from children to adults, can benefit from dental sealants. However, children are vulnerable to developing holes in their teeth because they favor sugary and starchy foods and lack the motor skills essential for cleaning the molars. Negligence on the part of children in maintaining excellent dental hygiene also plays a role in cavity development.

Adults can also consider getting dental sealants if they have molars without cavities on them. Unfortunately, the need for more information about dental sealants prevents many people from utilizing this excellent preventive measure against cavities, making them vulnerable to receiving treatments like fillings, root canals, or replacement teeth if they must have a tooth extracted for extensive damage.

Are Dental Sealants Safe?

The safety of dental sealants remains undisputed. The CDC mentions the benefits of dental sealants as a simple and inexpensive procedure to prevent cavities on the back molars. Children receiving dental sealants can have them painted on their teeth at affordable prices with dental insurance and discount plans reducing the costs further. Besides preventing cavities, dental sealants ensure the teeth remain intact.

Apprehensions have been expressed about environmental concerns by synthetic estrogens like bisphenol A (BPA). However, exposure to BPA levels peaks three hours after application and returns to baseline within a day. In addition, research reveals BPA levels are not detected in clinical studies in the blood serum. Therefore researchers think dental sealants are entirely safe.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Dental sealant application on the teeth is straightforward and does not cause discomfort. If your child needs dental sealants in Roanoke, VA, to prevent cavities, they can receive them from the nearby dentist in a short appointment lasting approximately 30 minutes.

The dentist providing dental sealants near you cleans the molars and applies an etching gel over the molars chewing surface for a few seconds. Next, the tooth is rinsed and dried. Finally, the sealant is painted on the tooth’s chewing surface and hardened with ultraviolet light.

After providing dental sealants, the dentist in Roanoke, VA, will emphasize the necessity to maintain excellent dental hygiene and limit consumption of sugary and starchy foods and beverages besides getting regular dental checkups to monitor the dental health of the child and the sealants.

Dental sealants are merely a preventive barrier over the molars to inhibit mouth bacteria from eroding the tooth enamel. Unfortunately, the other teeth remain vulnerable to cavities and gum disease, making regular dental checkups with Dr. Cristelle Rodriguez an essential requirement at six monthly intervals. The doctor emphasizes meeting them every six months with your child to ensure they are not developing infections in their mouths and the sealants continue protecting their teeth without chipping and cracking to need a reapplication.

Kids First Dental — Roanoke provides dental sealants to children to prevent cavities from developing on their teeth. The treatment is affordable and completed painlessly within about 30 minutes. If your child needs an additional barrier of protection on their molars, a meeting with the practice gets them a safeguard that remains on their teeth for an extended period.

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