Your teeth take a beating over the course of a lifetime–and you may not realize it until it’s too late. The things you eat and drink set in motion a series of reactions that can break down the natural protective enamel around your teeth and cause cavities. Most Texans start getting dental sealants during childhood or their teenage years. Dental sealants are an increasingly popular way of preventing cavities. But how do dental sealants protect teeth?
The mechanism is simple, really — and it’s all in the name. Sealants deny food particles and other bacteria the chance of reaching the spot where they can do the most damage. Dental sealants are an important part of the field of protective dentistry, one of the many dentistry services provided at Splendid Dental Bellaire.
How Dental Sealants Protect Teeth
Dental sealants are made of a synthetic material that when applied seals your teeth off from germs, bacteria, and food. These germs and bacteria can trigger a process that leads to tooth decay. The most common sign of decay is a cavity, which is a hole in your tooth exposing nerves and jeopardizing the tooth.
Dentists paint the sealants on your teeth, and it hardens to form the protective barrier. Sealants are usually used on your back teeth, which are typically the hardest to reach with a toothbrush. Sometimes on those teeth, even with the best brushing, it’s not possible to remove plaque.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Unfortunately, dental sealants do not last forever. Some types of sealants can last up to ten years, but this is not a guarantee. It depends in part on the type of material used, but it also depends on you, your diet, and your habits. If you’re someone who likes to chew on ice or hard candy or drink a lot of carbonated beverages, you can shorten the lifespan of your sealants.
Sealants are most common in children. Some medical professionals recommend that children receive sealants almost as soon as their adult molars come in. Since no one is immune from cavities, adults also are treated with sealants for your teeth.
Texas dentists say that dental sealants can last as long as 10 years before needing to be replaced. But this requires you to take good care of your teeth by avoiding harmful eating habits. Smoking can also affect the life of your dental sealants.
The field of protective dentistry offers other ways of fighting back against tooth decay — mainly by improving your overall dental health and hygiene. Dentists recommend:
- Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Revise your diet to emphasize foods that are good for teeth
- Limit snacks between meals
- Discuss an antibacterial mouth rinse with your dentist
Improved habits along with dental sealants offer a potent defense against tooth decay.
Explore Dental Sealants at Splendid Dental Bellaire
Dental Sealants are an affordable component of protective dentistry. They can be effective in preventing the onset of cavities and improving your dental health overall. At Splendid Dental Bellaire, we can help you decide if sealants are right for you or members of your family. Keep in mind that the best way to prevent cavities is to have good dental health. You can help yourself toward that goal by taking advantage of regular routine dental care from our experienced team. We provide annual exams and professional dental cleanings. We also provide specialty and cosmetic dentistry and are available in the unlikely event you have a dental emergency. Whether you just need a cleaning and a checkup, or you have a nagging toothache, call Splendid Dental Bellaire at 832.365.4860 for an appointment today.