What Are Dental Sealants?

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If you’ve ever brushed your teeth (and we hope you have), you’ve noticed that some spots are harder to reach than others. The back molars and wisdom teeth tend to accumulate more bacteria because they’re difficult to brush. 

To protect against decay, many adults and children seek dental sealants. They’re a plastic coating that shields teeth against cavities. To learn more about how sealants can improve your oral health, keep reading:


What Are Sealants?

Applied to the chewing surface of the teeth, sealants can protect molars and front teeth against bacteria. It gives them an extra layer of resistance against cavities. The composite resin is the same colour as your existing teeth, so it will blend right in. This form of plastic is highly resilient. 

For chips, cracks, or discolouration, a sealant is a very effective way to restore the appearance of your teeth. These plastic coatings can reduce the number of cavities that develop over time.


How Are They Applied?

This procedure is quick, painless, and causes minimal discomfort. It’s certainly more comfortable than having a cavity filled!

First, each tooth is thoroughly cleaned—dentists don’t want to seal bacteria inside of it.

Then, an acidic gel is applied to give the texture of the teeth some grit. This helps the sealant form a strong bond. It needs to adhere well if it’s going to withstand the force of your jaws for the next few years.

The gel is rinsed away after a few minutes. The dentist dries the teeth, then starts painting on the sealant. It’s applied specifically to the deeper grooves of your teeth where bacteria thrive. After that, the sealant is hardened using a blue curing light.

Most sealants are clear-coloured or white, so no one will notice them in your mouth.


Do Sealants Contain BPA?

When we told you that sealants are a form of plastic, you might have raised an eyebrow. Is that safe to have in my mouth? you may have wondered.

Sealants are proven to be safe. They contain very low levels of BPA (bisphenol A)—you’re exposed to more BPA in the air you breathe and the receipts you touch.


Sealants For Children

Sealants are most commonly applied to molars (the big chewing teeth in the back). 

Children find it especially hard to brush the pits and fissures in their teeth. To prevent cavities at a young age, sealants are commonly applied. 

Research shows that when sealants are applied to molars, they reduce the risk of decay by 80% for up to 2 years.


How Long Will They Last?

Sealants can last for up to 9 years. After 4 years, they only protect against 50% of cavities, so you may want to replace them after a while. 

Remember, just because a tooth has a sealant doesn’t mean you can stop brushing it! It’s still important to brush and floss each day to prevent decay. 


Interested In Sealants?

Are you interested in preventing cavities from developing on your most vulnerable teeth? Sealants might be right for you. They’re a great way to protect your molars and other chewing surfaces against decay, bacteria, and future fillings.

EK Dental Group is a team of professional dentists in Winnipeg. Get in touch with us to discuss your future dental sealant.

Article written by East Kildonan Dental

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