Your mouth features natural bacteria that can hurt your teeth over time. You practice oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to remove resulting plaque build-up and ensure the bacteria do not cause dental problems like cavities.
Still, a majority of people will form at least one cavity, an early form of tooth decay caused by oral bacteria, in their lives. Your dentist can help you fight cavities and preserve your dental structure with targeted preventative dental care.
One way a dentist can help patients protect their teeth is through dental sealants. This involves a dentist creating an extra layer of protection over the teeth so that bacteria cannot reach the surface of the teeth.
But not every patient will need this extra treatment to promote good oral health. Read on to learn more about dental sealants and more preventative dentistry efforts that can keep your smile looking and feeling its best.
How Do Dentists Provide Sealants to Dental Patients?
The procedure to give a patient dental sealants is non-invasive and quick. You can receive them in one dentist appointment as part of your routine check-up. The dentist will apply a thin layer of composite resin to the tooth by brushing it over the tooth’s surface.
Then the dentist can cure it to harden it, where it will become an extra protective layer for your smile. You may want to avoid eating and drinking for an hour to ensure the treatment settles properly. Follow more aftercare advice from your dentist to get the best results from this preventative treatment.
Sealants will work at their best rate, stopping most cavities, for at least two years after this procedure. Then they can continue to work at about half of the protection for two more years after that. Talk to your dentist about touch-up opportunities.
Are Dental Sealants Just for Pediatric Patients?
You may remember receiving dental sealants when you were a child. But then you got them less frequently as you reached adulthood. Dentists highly recommend sealants for pediatric dental patients because kids often do not practice thorough and proper oral hygiene. So their teeth can be more vulnerable to cavities.
But patients of all ages can benefit from the extra protection of sealants. In fact, dentists will suggest this treatment to patients with certain risk factors and a higher chance of tooth decay.
Examples include those with more aggressive oral bacteria and dental patients with already weakened tooth enamel. While dentists can treat most cavities easily, they will want you to preserve as much of your natural dental structure as possible. Lost enamel does not ever grow back, even though a dentist can offer treatments to replace and restore it.
So to protect your teeth, they will evaluate your unique smile and provide you with the preventive oral health care that you need. Schedule your dental check-up today to learn about in-office and at-home efforts that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best.