How Will Dental Sealants Help My Smile?

Group of School Kids Forming A Huddle and smiling

How Will Dental Sealants Help My Smile?

Group of School Kids Forming A Huddle and smiling

We all want our smile to be at its healthiest so we can eat, drink, talk, and rest comfortably without issue. One way adults and children can protect their teeth from cavities beyond regular brushing and flossing is with dental sealants.

Painlessly applied, dental sealants help to further fend off decay in the long run when paired with other everyday oral hygiene habits. Our Portage dentist, Dr. Paul, can speak with you further if you are interested in sealants for you or a child.

Here’s what else you need to know about the application of dental sealants and their benefits.

What They Are and How They Work

Dental sealants are non-invasive, plastic coatings that are brushed onto the chewing surfaces of back teeth, or molars. They may seem simple compared to other dental procedures, but sealants are capable of protecting your smile for years.

Once applied, sealants are designed to prevent decay from entering the fine grooves and pits located on molars. These narrow, hard-to-clean “fissures” are commonly found on back teeth which makes them especially susceptible to cavities. Even the bristles of a toothbrush may not be able to reach inside these areas to properly get rid of any plaque or food particles.

This is where dental sealants come in. Our dentist will gently apply them to your back molars so there is a smooth surface that covers the grooved and pitted areas. You can think of sealants like an umbrella for your teeth. Similar to how regular umbrellas protect you from the rain, sealants will work to keep out decay.

Target Audience for Sealants

Because of how well sealants act as a shield against cavities, many dentists, including ours, recommend they be placed on the molars of children and teenagers once they appear. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t also effective when used with adults.

Some adults are more prone to cavity formation than others depending on how deep the fissures are on their back teeth. To help prevent the need for a filling or dental crown in the future, our dentist can apply sealants during a routine appointment.

Advantages and Procedure

Aside from their ability to prevent plaque buildup inside of molars, sealants are also:

  • Less expensive than fillings.
  • Applied quickly and painlessly in one visit.
  • Proven to last for up to 10 years with proper oral hygiene.
  • Simple to repair or maintain.

If you’re interested in having sealants applied to your or your child’s teeth, our dentist will start by preparing your molars. Your tooth will be cleaned and dried before an acid solution is used to roughen the chewing surface. This part of the process ensures the sealant forms a strong bond to your tooth.

Next, our dentist will rinse and dry the tooth/teeth again before brushing the sealant onto the tooth enamel. Here it will begin to bond directly to the tooth and harden. Once it has become a hard plastic coating, you are free to chew on the tooth and go about your day.

Set Your Teeth Up For Success

Give your smile an extra boost of protection with dental sealants. Our family dentist in Portage, MI, can place them on your child’s molars or on yours if you are at risk for cavities as an adult. Call Courtside Dental today at (269) 327-1011 to schedule an appointment or contact us online.