Q&A: All About Sealants and Why They Are Your Best Choice for Fighting Cavities

by Charlee
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Taking proper care of your oral hygiene is crucial to maintain healthy teeth, gums, and good breath. Typically, a healthy oral hygiene routine should include the following:

  • Brushing your teeth a minimum of twice a day.
  • Brushing your tongue.
  • Flossing on a regular basis.
  • Using mouthwash.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly.

However, sometimes tooth decay creeps up on the nooks and crannies of your teeth, even when you pay attention to how you clean them. But don’t worry; there are more percussions you can take to protect your teeth, which are sealants.

A Sealant is a preventative measure that covers the surface of the tooth, preventing bacteria from interacting with the enamel, weakening it, and causing cavities.

Although sealants have been around for a while and are quite well-known, many people have a lot of questions about them, and if you are one of those people, then you have clicked on the right blog!

Here are a few common questions with conclusive answers to satisfy any curiosity you may have regarding sealants.

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1 – What Are Sealants?

Sealants are a thin protective layer of composite resin, glass ionomer, or polyacid resin that dentists place on the crown of your molars — the back teeth you use to chew and crush food.

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2 – How Do Sealants Work?

The sealant prevents food bits from getting stuck between the molars’ cusps and stops acid and bacteria from sitting atop the tooth, preventing a chemical reaction with the enamel, therefore protecting it from caries.

Who can get sealants?

3 – How Are Sealants Applied?

Getting sealants is a quick and painless procedure. In order to securely place the sealant on a tooth, the dentist will:

  • Clean and dry the tooth, then surround it with cotton to keep it away from any moisture.
  • An acid solution is applied to the tooth’s surface, which works as a bonding facilitator by hardening the enamel, easing the bonding.
  • The acid is then rinsed off, and the tooth gets dried again.
  • The dentist then applies the sealant on the tooth, which bonds directly with the enamel. Sometimes, it requires a curing light to make the sealant harden faster.

4 – How Long Do They Last?

Some types of sealants can last for long periods, up to 10 years, but they most likely won’t be as effective as they were in the first few years.

That’s why dentists recommend that sealants be reapplied every 2 to 4 years to ensure complete protection. Also, your dentist can check the status of your sealants during regular checkups and decide whether you need a newer application or not.

5 – Are Sealants Better Than Fillings?

Comparing a sealant with a filling is like comparing medicine with supplements; one is a cure, while the other is a percussion.

Fillings are a cavity treatment, whereas sealants make sure you don’t get cavities in the first place.

That being said, preventing an issue is definitely better than waiting until it happens and trying to treat it, hence why sealants are better than fillings, not to mention how they’re less expensive and easier to apply.

6 – I Have Cavities. Can I Still Get Sealants?

Sealants can still prevent damage in areas of early tooth decay, depending on the severity of the cavity.

Your dentist may apply a see-through sealant which will allow them to check on the status of the cavity during regular checkups, making sure it doesn’t deteriorate.

7 – Do Sealants Have Negative Effects?

Unless you have an allergy to one of the components of the sealant, you shouldn’t suffer any issues from it. Not to mention how they provide a safe and secure solution to a problem that inconveniences many.

Nonetheless, improper application of the sealant may lead to its failure, as the layer won’t provide the required results, and you’ll need to have it redone.

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