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Prevent Cavities With Dental Sealants

Excellent oral hygiene is essential to your overall health and well-being. Although brushing and flossing are a primary way to prevent cavities, some areas of the teeth are harder to clean and more prone to decay. 

Dental sealants offer an effective solution for protecting these vulnerable areas and preventing cavities. They can protect against 80% of cavities for two years after their application and then continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years.

At South Plains Rural Health Services, we want to help you understand if you or your children could benefit from the application of dental sealants.

What exactly are dental sealants

A dental sealant is simply a thin, protective coating that your dental provider applies to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars and premolars). These teeth have deep grooves and pits where food particles and bacteria can easily become trapped, making them more susceptible to decay. 

Sealants act as a barrier, preventing plaque and food debris from accumulating in these areas and reducing the risk of cavities.

How sealants benefit oral health

Dental sealants offer multiple benefits. They include:

Cavity prevention

By sealing off the deep grooves and pits of the teeth, dental sealants help prevent cavities from forming.

Long-lasting protection

Sealants can last for several years with proper care, providing ongoing protection against decay.

Cost-effective

Compared to the cost of treating cavities, dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive measure that can save you money in the long run.

Who benefits from dental sealants

Dental sealants are commonly recommended for children and teenagers, but adults who have healthy molars without decay or fillings can also benefit from this preventive treatment. 

Generally, anyone who is prone to tooth decay in their back teeth should consider sealants.

Children should ideally receive sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth erupt. This early application ensures that the sealants provide protection during the cavity-prone years, which is typically between the ages of 6 and 14.

In certain situations, dental sealants may also be suitable for primary (baby) teeth.

What it’s like to get sealants

Applying dental sealants is a quick and painless process that can be completed during a routine dental visit.

Your provider thoroughly cleans and dries your teeth to prepare them for the sealant application. 

They apply a special gel to the teeth to roughen the surface and help the sealant adhere more effectively.

They then carefully paint the sealant material onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth and then harden the sealant with a curing light.

Once the sealants are in place, your dentist checks to ensure they have bonded properly and make any necessary adjustments.

Care for dental sealants

Practice good oral hygiene to ensure that dental sealants continue to provide optimal protection.

Brush and floss regularly to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums.

At your six-month dental check-up, your dentist monitors the condition of your sealants and will reapply them, if necessary.

Beware of hard foods and objects that can chip or dislodge sealants. Avoid biting down on them.

Dental sealants are a valuable tool in the fight against cavities, offering long-lasting protection for vulnerable areas of the teeth. Schedule your dental appointment so that you can get more information about how dental sealants can benefit you and your family. Call Contact South Plains Rural Health Services at one of our four locations or visit us online to use our scheduling tool.

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