As you go about your daily activities, you may not be aware that your teeth are under constant assault from harmful bacteria. These bacteria feast on sugar and starches from the food you eat and produce acidic waste products that damage your tooth enamel. Regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist certainly give you an advantage in this fight, but the truth is you need all the help you can get. Dental sealants are a great defensive weapon that can give you a leg up in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Here’s some information from the team at American Dental about dental sealants and how they can help you prevent damage to your teeth:
What are Dental Sealants?
Just like a sealant can be applied to a wooden deck to prevent rot, dental sealants create a barrier that prevents damaging materials from coming into contact with the tooth surface. Most dental sealants are plastic resins that, once cured, cover the chewing surfaces of your teeth so acids and food particles can’t touch them.
In a dental sealant procedure, the tooth surface is first roughed up using a mild acid. This will allow the sealant to bond strongly to the tooth. Next, a liquid resin is applied that is then cured using a specialized ultraviolet light. This special resin cures in just seconds when exposed to UV light. Once applied, dental sealants remain 80% effective against cavities for 2 years, and 50% effective for up to 4 years. They can also be reapplied every so often for continuous protection. Not only do dental sealants create a protective barrier against bacteria, they also give the chewing surface of your molars a smoother texture that makes them easier to clean.
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
People of all ages can receive dental sealants, and the chances of complications for the procedure are nearly nonexistent. For best results, dental sealants should be applied in children as soon as their permanent molars come in. In general, the earlier dental sealants are applied, the more effective they will be. With continual reapplication every few years, they can be 80% effective against cavities. The dental sealant application process itself is completely painless and only takes a few minutes to complete. Sealants can be applied to healthy teeth, or they can even be applied to teeth in early stages of decay to prevent that decay from progressing any further.
Finding a Dentist for Dental Sealants in Chicagoland
At American Dental, we can apply dental sealants during a checkup, or you can schedule a separate appointment. If you are interested in dental sealants or you are looking for a general dentist in Palos Heights or anywhere nearby, we have 8 different locations to serve you. Visit our contact page to find the clinic closest to you and call or schedule an appointment online today! You can protect your teeth from cavities; trust the team at American Dental to give you the best dental care in Chicago.