Sometimes you might have a hard time reaching to brush and floss the teeth in
the back of the mouth, called the premolars and molars. This is especially
true for kids, since their arms may not be quite long enough to reach those
teeth. That’s why we at Shore Dental offer
to help provide a little extra boost of protection against cavities. We would
love to be the dentist to help protect your child’s smile!
Contact us today to learn more.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic-like coatings that are painted onto the
grooves in the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to help provide
protection against bacteria and acids that result in tooth decay. Back teeth
contain grooves, also called fissures, where bits of food and bacteria can
get trapped and cause cavities. Sealants act as a shield to prevent bacteria
and food form entering these nooks and crannies and wreaking havoc.
Why Would Someone Need Sealants?
Sealants are most often placed in children’s mouths, since sometimes
their arms aren’t long enough to reach their back teeth. They may also
be placed in adults who are at risk for severe tooth decay. Sealants provide
extra protection because not even the ultra-thin bristles of a toothbrush
can reach into all the crevices of your molars. That’s why
want to take extra precaution to keep decay out of your little one’s
How and When Are Dental Sealants Placed?
Getting dental sealants placed is an easy procedure. First, one of our
dental hygienists will clean, dry, and etch the tooth. Next, they will coat
the sealant material on with a brush. Then, a self-curing light will be
applied for about 30 seconds to bond the sealants to the surface of the
tooth. Finally, one of our dentists will evaluate the sealants and make sure
your child’s bite is unaffected.
Sealants are usually placed on the grooves of the first molar once the
chewing surface has completely erupted above the gumline. This should happen
around the age of six. The molars and premolars will continue to erupt until
around age twelve. It’s a good idea to get sealants as soon as molars
start coming in, and then again once they have all erupted. A little extra
protection never hurts!
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants have been an effective way of preventing cavities since they
were first invented in the 1970s. Multiple studies have shown that when
sealants are placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth, those patients have
far less decay. The studies have also shown that sealants can last for many,
many years before needing to be replaced. However, it’s recommended to
get sealants replaced every few years. It’s never a bad idea to invest
in extra cavity protection!