You can avoid dental issues like tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Both procedures aim to remove any food residue you could have left in the spaces and crevices of your teeth. When brushing and flossing, some parts of our teeth can be challenging to reach. These areas, particularly the back teeth, still retain some food debris. To prevent tooth decay in these specific regions, dental sealants are advisable. To prevent plaque and food particles from building up, sealants cover the tops of your back teeth, especially the molars and premolars. Consult with our knowledgeable South Coast Dentistry staff to learn more about dental sealants and how they can help you or your loved ones in Aliso Viejo.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Your natural teeth are constantly exposed to substances that could weaken and harm them, altering how they feel, look, and operate. The substances that originate from the food and beverages you consume are the most notorious. Your strong and gorgeous natural teeth can fracture or chip from eating hard foods, impairing your smile, chewing ability, and appearance. Sugary meals promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth, which can lead to major dental issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. To keep your teeth healthy and fully functional, your dentist will urge you to be mindful of what you eat and drink.
Flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day are daily routines that should keep your mouth healthy and your teeth clean. But, it does not always work that way, especially when cleaning your tooth's concealed areas. When brushing and flossing, some areas of your teeth are difficult to reach, especially on your back teeth. When it comes to bacterial development and dental disease, these are the most susceptible areas. To prevent decay on all of your teeth, including those that are difficult to reach, general dentists have developed several solutions, including dental sealants.
Many people use dental sealants as their preferred method of reducing their risk of developing tooth decay. The molars and premolars in the back of your mouth have thin plastic coatings applied to their chewing surfaces to prevent decay. Sealants adhere to healthy teeth. They create a barrier of defense over the enamel of each tooth by covering the ridges and depressions on the surfaces of your teeth. Food particles will not be lodged in difficult-to-reach spots this way. To maintain the health of your teeth and mouth, you can swiftly and efficiently clean all areas of your teeth and mouth.
To keep your mouth clean and free of harmful bacteria, brushing your teeth twice a day tries to remove all food particles. But if some areas of your tooth are difficult for your toothbrush to access, that could be a problem. It implies that some spots will still contain food residue that could lead to bacterial growth and tooth decay. It explains why some individuals continue to have tooth decay and more severe problems like gum disease despite regular brushing and flossing. Dental sealants shield those challenging-to-reach areas. You are no longer concerned about food fragments becoming trapped in your teeth.
The Advantages of Dental Sealants
Before beginning the procedure, you should know the many advantages dental sealants offer. They consist of the following:
Sealants Lessen the Probability of Tooth Decay
The most frequent dental issue young and older adults encounter is tooth decay. Cavities develop as a result of the damage to your tooth's hard surface. Your teeth would become more brittle due to cavities, which also hurt and make them more sensitive. Combinations of several factors, like dangerous oral bacteria, poor oral hygiene, consumption of sweet and sugary foods and beverages, and frequent snacking, can lead to tooth decay. If cavities are left untreated, they deepen and become bigger, compromising the root structure of your tooth. Your tooth can become sore, infected, and loose. Additionally, dental decay can spread from one tooth to another.
Dental Sealants are Safe
Dentists have used dental sealants as a tooth-decay preventative for a long time. Even when used on children, they pose fewer dangers. Therefore, they are unquestionably safe. You can be confident that they will not negatively affect your health for the duration you or your child will have them.
The Placement Method Requires Less Invasion
Since many people connect dental offices with pain and discomfort, they avoid visiting their dentists even for regular dental checkups. Some dental procedures are indeed drawn-out, uncomfortable, and painful. Applying dental sealants, on the other hand, is a quick and minimally invasive dental procedure. Drilling, injections, and hours spent holding your mouth open are not part of the procedure. Even local anesthesia is not necessary for dental sealants. Your dentist can thoroughly seal and safeguard your back teeth in just a few minutes.
Additionally, since it is painless, the procedure is perfect for everyone, including kids.
They Do Not Dissolve in Saliva
It is crucial to understand that dental sealants do not dissolve in saliva if you are concerned about their toxicity. They only include a small number of substances that react with saliva to form BPAs. As a result, there is no risk to your general health due to the minimal hazardous exposure to BPA from sealants.
Types of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are divided into groups based on their behavior after their placement on teeth. There are primarily two sorts in cases like these:
Ionomer Glass Sealants
Once these types of sealants have hardened on your teeth, an acid-base reaction occurs. Additionally, they emit fluoride, vital for years of enamel strength. On baby teeth, glass ionomer sealants are typically employed. Their benefits include:
- Because they release fluoride once they have dried on your teeth, they are particularly helpful in preventing and reducing tooth decay. Fluoride has antibacterial qualities that maintain the strength and health of your teeth.
- Glass ionomer sealants feature fluoride ions that prevent leaks even though they have a chance of doing so after years of use. Your teeth' enamel becomes mineralized when you use fluoride, protecting it from leaks.
- Your teeth continue to be strong and healthy even after the fluoride they release has been used up.
- Glass ionomer sealants are made with your teeth's beauty and color in mind. Nobody should be aware that you have sealants on your rear teeth.
However, glass ionomer sealants have a lower retention rate than composite resin sealants. Therefore, they require greater maintenance.
Composite Resin Sealants
Your dentist will apply composite resin sealants using a curing light. The sealants are created using a plastic material that matches the shape and color of your teeth. Their primary benefit is the strength of the composite material. Therefore, these sealants offer your teeth a potent, long-lasting defense against decay. They can work with you for up to ten years and have a high retention rate. Additionally, composite resin sealants are available in your natural teeth's precise shade. Nobody should be aware that you have sealed teeth.
But unlike glass ionomer sealants, composite resin dental sealants lack acid-base properties. Once they have dried on your teeth, they do not release fluoride. After years of use and abuse, your sealants will eventually wear out, leaving your teeth unprotected from decay.
When To Go For Dental Sealants
Your ability to eat depends heavily on the function of your back teeth. Your molars and premolars are used for chewing. It implies that your rear teeth are probably more likely to have food particles caught there than your front teeth. They are also the teeth that are most susceptible to bacterial accumulation and tooth decay. Compared to your front teeth, your rear teeth are more difficult to reach when cleaning and flossing. For this reason, molar and premolar dental sealants are advised by dentists.
Children and teenagers are the ideal candidates for dental sealants. Early coercion and protection of certain tooth areas are beneficial. Dental decay affects kids and teenagers more frequently than it does adults. Most people who have similar dental problems first had them as children. Again, kids typically do not brush and floss their teeth very carefully. They are likely to overlook crucial tooth structures, causing food particles to remain trapped in their mouths for an extended time. To prevent decay and bacterial growth, it is vital to seal any grooves and depressions on their back teeth.
Adults could also tremendously benefit if they did not have dental sealants while they were younger. However, to have your molars and premolars sealed, they must be free of tooth decay and fillings. Your dentist will start by treating the teeth that are already decayed.
Most youngsters whose permanent teeth are forming receive dental sealants recommendations from general dentists. It would help to have your child's molars and premolars sealed as soon as they erupt. This will shield your child's teeth when they are most vulnerable to cavities (between six and fourteen years).
However, your dentist could suggest dental sealants for your baby's teeth in exceptional cases. Your dentist can apply dental sealants to your child's teeth if they have depressions and grooves to prevent cavities. Keep in mind that your baby's teeth are crucial in preserving the proper position for the development of their permanent teeth. To avoid losing these teeth too soon, it is vital to maintain their strength and condition. The growth of permanent teeth can be hampered if your child loses their first back teeth before they are ready to develop permanent ones.
If you are concerned about cavities and would like to use dental sealants to protect the teeth of you or a loved one, it is crucial to discuss this with your dentist when you go for your next appointment. Your dentist will prepare you for the entire procedure and go through every piece of information, like how sealants work, the process, and the cost.
The Process of Having Dental Sealants
You will only need one visit to the dentist's office for the application of dental sealants once you have discussed your worry about developing cavities with your dentist regarding you or your child. Dental sealants are applied easily, quickly, and painlessly. You will not need more than a few minutes for it. Additionally, since the procedure is non-invasive, you will require local anesthesia. Keep in mind that the following process will involve applying the sealant, one back tooth at a time.
To prepare yourself for a dental sealant, your dentist must clean the teeth that need sealing. Dental cleaning has many advantages, including ridding your teeth of the harmful germs that could otherwise result in tooth decay and gum disease. Before the tooth is cemented, cleaning will also clear the tooth's surface of any food that has become lodged.
Your dentist will dry each tooth after cleaning. All teeth must be entirely dry for the dental sealant to be applied successfully. To properly dry the cleaned teeth, your dentist can place cotton or any other absorbent material around them.
After cleaning your teeth, your dentist will apply an acid solution to the chewing surfaces. The acid will make the chewing surfaces rougher so that the dental sealants will adhere to the teeth more effectively. The dentist will re-rinse and re-dry the teeth after the surfaces are prepared.
Finally, each tooth that needs protection will have dental sealant painted on or applied to the enamel. The sealant will harden and attach to the tooth. A special laser could be used to hasten the hardening process.
Your back teeth will be entirely safe from the harmful germs that cause cavities in just a few minutes. But to have complete protection from tooth decay and other dental issues, you must continue to clean and floss your teeth every day.
After applying, you or a loved one can begin eating. But in the days or weeks that follow, you must be cautious to avoid harming the applications by watching what you consume.
Dental sealants can prevent cavities on your back teeth for up to 10 years after their application. To enjoy longer durations of protection, you must take proper care of your teeth. Additionally, it would be best to have your teeth routinely examined by a dentist for wear or chipping. Fortunately, when necessary, dentists can repair or replace dental sealants.
How To Care for Your Dental Sealants After Application
Your rear teeth are safe from decay and bacterial growth with dental sealants. But to ensure that your teeth stay strong and healthy after sealing, you must take proper care of them. To ensure that your sealants are performing as they should, your dentist will provide you with guidelines. Here are a few safety measures to keep in mind:
- Continue using a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush your teeth twice daily. The conclusion of your daily cleaning routine is not implied by having your teeth sealed. It would help if you kept the dangerous bacteria that cause tooth decay and other dental problems like gum disease away from your sealed and unsealed teeth.
- Maintain daily flossing between your teeth. Any food particle caught between your teeth can be removed by flossing. Food particles can lodge between your back teeth even after the sealing.
- Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables for optimal dental and general health.
- Avoid chewing ice, hard candies, and other objects, as your sealants can chip or rack. Damaged dental sealants do not provide complete protection from decay. You will need new sealants, which come with an additional cost
- Limit your intake of sticky foods since they can remove your sealant, leaving your teeth vulnerable to harmful microorganisms.
Continue going to the dentist regularly so they can examine your sealed and unsealed teeth to determine how they are doing. Your dentist can also repair your sealants in time to protect your teeth if they discover that one or more of them are broken.
Additionally, if your sealants crack, chip, or come out, you should see your dentist immediately. To continue protecting all of your teeth, it is crucial to replace a sealant that has been lost or damaged.
Find an Experienced General Dentist Near Me
Your dentist can take several preventive steps to safeguard your teeth from harm and maintain their strength and health. One method of guarding your teeth against deterioration is with dental sealants. Both young and old are impacted by tooth decay. As a result, your dentist can apply dental sealants on your back teeth at a young age. They will first go over all information regarding dental sealants with you, including what they are, how they function, how much the sealants cost, and how to maintain them so that they keep your teeth safe for many years. Additionally, we walk you through the application process at South Coast Dentistry so that you know what to expect. If you or a loved one requires dental sealants in Aliso Viejo, call us at 949-274-9086. We will be sure to meet all your dental needs.