Dental sealants are an ingenious preventive treatment that is used to protect your teeth from cavities and decay. The surfaces of our molars and premolars are filled with peaks and valleys that are designed to allow a person to chew and grind their food with ease. Unfortunately, the crevasses in some molars are actually too small to clean out properly. Toothbrush bristles can often not even get into these small spaces, but food debris, plague, and tartar certainly can fit in those spaces.
A dental sealant is applied as a thin and clear layer to these biting surfaces where food debris collects. By sealing the areas, it does not allow the plague to begin the decaying process.
A common misconception is that dental sealants are made just for kids, but this is not the case! Children do greatly benefit from dental sealants because baby teeth tend to have a thinner enamel which allows for cavities and decay to happen quicker. While primary teeth will naturally fall out eventually, keeping them healthy until they do is important to keep the overall oral health in check.
While many children do get dental sealants, they are just as helpful for adults. There are many spots on the back molar that are hard to clean, so dental sealants help to prevent tartar buildups. For those with a sweet tooth, prone to cavities, or that already have a lot of dental work, dental sealants is a low-cost investment that can prevent future large dental issues.
In some instances, the clear nature of dental sealants can be used to halt the decay of a tooth without having to drill and fill it. The sealant works to halt the decay process and allows the dentist a prime window to see if the decay continues or spreads further.