Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough and uneven teeth which make them a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide. However, with sealants, we can protect your teeth against decay and greatly reduce your risk of getting cavities. Sealants usually last up to five years, though some adults still have their childhood sealants completely intact.
What Are Sealants?
Essentially, sealants are a thin, plastic resin that is placed in the grooves of your tooth, where it hardens into a protective seal. This makes those grooves smooth, making it much more difficult for plaque to get stuck in those areas in the future. As a result, brushing your teeth becomes significantly more effective and your risk of cavities will drastically decrease.
When Are Sealants Applied?
Most of the time, sealants are applied to children’s teeth shortly after their permanent teeth have grown in. This simple preventative measure helps reduce their risk of tooth decay and other forms of dental problems in the future. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for an adult to have sealants applied to their teeth. In fact, even if your teeth are perfectly healthy, it’s often a good idea to have them sealed as a precaution. The need for sealants generally depends on your specific circumstances, which means that your dentist may or may not decide to recommend sealants to you. This is almost entirely based on your situation, and is handled on a case-by-case basis. If your sealants come off or become damaged, then they are no longer useful, meaning it’s important for you to get them re-sealed as quickly as possible.