If you have kids, you might be familiar with dental sealants. However, many adult dental patients haven’t heard of dental sealants and, even those who have, may not be aware of how sealants can benefit adult patients as well as children. Take a look at what you should know about dental sealants and how they can help protect your teeth. Then talk to your dentist about whether dental sealants are a good choice for you.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from dental sealants.
Dental sealants are a thin coating of flexible plastic material that cover the chewing surface of a tooth. Dentists apply the sealant in liquid form, simply by brushing it onto the patient’s teeth. After a short time, the liquid dries and hardens and becomes a solid plastic barrier that prevents food and other material from settling in the patient’s teeth.
Dental sealants are usually applied to teeth in the back of the mouth – the molars and premolars that do the bulk of the chewing. These teeth are particularly prone to decay, partly because they come into more contact with food than other teeth. They have grooves that tend to trap small particles of food and they’re harder to reach with a toothbrush than teeth in the front of the mouth.
Dental Sealants for Adults
In recent years, dental sealants have been commonly recommended for children. Children are not as experienced at brushing as adults, and may have a harder time getting their teeth thoroughly cleaned. Sealants help to protect their teeth from developing cavities that may cause them greater dental problems later in life.
Tooth decay can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Although children may be less effective at brushing their teeth, many adults still experience decay even with proper toothbrushing. Adults with weak enamel or with pits and grooves in their teeth may be more prone to decay. What’s more, some factors that can contribute to tooth decay, like certain illnesses or medications, are more likely to affect adults than children. Sealants can help adults preserve their natural teeth and reduce the need for procedures like fillings and crowns.
Are Sealants Right For You?
Sealants are a simple way to help you preserve your smile.
Having sealants applied is a simple, quick, and painless procedure that is appropriate for most patients. If you’re particularly prone to tooth decay, or if you’re particularly motivated to avoid extra dental work, sealants may be a perfect choice for you.
Remember that sealants don’t last forever – if you want to maintain them, you’ll need to have them reapplied every ten years. However, the cost of having sealants applied is low compared to the cost of restorative dental work. Opting for sealants could save you a lot of money in dental work in the future. It can also spare you the pain and inconvenience of toothaches and infections that can accompany tooth decay.
If you’re looking for new and better ways to protect your teeth, talk to your dentist about dental sealants. Contact us to request information.