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Dental Sealants

Dental Sealant – What is it and How Does it Work?

The molars in the back of our mouth have puts and crevices along them. These grooves in the teeth are highly susceptible to bacteria and germs and food particles. While regular brushing is enough to get the grooves clean, even the most dedicated people can struggle to clear out all the food from the grooves. It is even more difficult for kids to clean their molars as they cannot brush well.

This is where dental sealants come in. Sealants are thin coatings that are painted on the biting surfaces of the molars to protect them from decay and cavities. It is a thin white or clear resin liquid applied to the surface of a child’s molars with a small brush. The liquid sealant is bonded to the tooth and dries by using a blue LED light, leaving a hard layer of protection. The dental sealants act as a protective layer and reduce your child’s risk of cavities.

How do Dental Sealants Work?

Dental sealants are designed to cover chewing surfaces of the back teeth and help keep out germs, food, and plaque. They essentially form a shield over the grooves in molars and make it easier to keep back teeth clean and protect them from minuscule food particles and bacteria that might otherwise hide in those grooves. By “sealing” out bacteria, food, and other cavities-causing substances, sealants help protect teeth from getting cavities.

Dental sealants for a child are designed to protect your child’s teeth for a minimum of 3-5 years, even up to 10 years, if they’re well maintained. During your child’s regular dental checkups, the dentist will check the sealants to ensure they are still in place and haven’t cracked or worn away. If they are damaged, then they can be quickly and easily repaired.

How Do Dentists Apply Sealants?

Applying dental sealants is a fast and painless procedure. There is no drilling and no numbing required with dental sealants. The procedure of applying sealants is quick, safe and comfortable. Here what a dentist in Cedar Park, TX will do while applying sealants:

  • Clean the teeth being sealed with a polishing brush and pumice.
  • Dry the teeth and isolate them from any saliva from the tongue and cheeks using a small cotton roll or triangular intra-oral cheek shield called a “dry angle.”
  • Apply an etching solution to the surface of the tooth being sealed to disinfect and prep the tooth for better sealant adherence.
  • Rinse off the etching solution and dry teeth again.
  • Paint on a thin bonding layer, followed by the sealant, directly onto the surface of the tooth, covering the enamel.
  • Use an LED blue light to help the “cure” the sealant. This allows for faster application, as it hardens and bonds the sealant to the tooth surface.

After the sealant is hardened, your child’s appointment will be complete. Each tooth being sealed takes about just one minute! There are no restrictions following sealants, patients can eat and drink right away, and can return to school immediately after.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are an important preventative measure designed to give your child’s smile every possible advantage. Many dentists recommend children get sealants on their teeth as soon as their permanent molars arrive to prevent decay from the beginning.

Although not as common, some dentists will recommend dental sealants for young children whose baby teeth have significant grooves or pits in them. Although these teeth will eventually fall out between ages 10-12, it’s still essential to protect your child’s oral health early on and prevent problems that may plague them later on.

If you are thinking of getting dental sealants in Cedar Park, TX for your children, contact Town Center Dental and get in touch with the best dentist for your child’s needs.