How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Regular visits to the dentist and proper oral hygiene are the best ways to prevent cavities. However, it is not always easy to keep our teeth clean. Molars, in particular, are rough, uneven, and the favorite place for leftover food particles to hide. Dental sealants are a popular treatment intended to prevent tooth decay. This thin, protective coating adheres to the chewing surface of our back teeth. While there is no substitute for daily brushing and flossing, dental sealants for children can help keep cavities from forming and may stop the early stages of tooth decay. Read on to learn more from the LANCO Dental Care team and what Lancaster, PA patients can do to seal out tooth decay to protect their smile.
How are dental sealants applied to teeth?
Both adults and children can benefit from dental sealants. During a quick and virtually painless in-office procedure, your teeth will be cleaned and dried before an acidic gel is applied. The gel roughs up the tooth's surface so that a strong bond will form between the sealant and target area. After a few seconds, the gel will be rinsed off before applying the dental sealant. A special blue light will then adhere the sealant to the tooth's surface. Our team will repeat these steps on the back teeth (molars) to prevent cavities or tooth decay.
Are dental sealants for kids only?
Sealants act as a barrier, protecting tooth enamel from harmful acids, bacteria, and plaque, especially with back teeth. Dental sealants for children are designed to protect a child's first permanent molars as they come in. It can be applied again when kids get their second set of permanent molars between the ages of 11 – 14. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends sealants for kids ages 5 – 14 years old. However, adults without fillings or decay in their molars can also benefit from sealants. No matter the age, anyone can benefit from dental sealants. With age, exposure to tooth decay increases, and our saliva changes our protective enamel's biochemistry and protective quality. With that said, adults are also candidates for dental sealants.
How long do sealants last?
Are you considering dental sealants for you or your child, but curious how long they last? Sealants usually last several years before needing to be replaced. However, in some cases, they do crack or fall out. Chewing on hard foods or ice can also break down sealants. If a tooth loses a sealant, then the protective shield is gone, and tooth decay can set in. Our dental team at LANCO Dental Care will check during regular dental checkups to ensure sealants are still in place and haven't worn away or cracked. If you are a good candidate for dental sealants, it is an excellent investment for your teeth and can protect them from decay for up to ten years or more.
Dental sealants are clear, so our dental experts at LANCO Dental Care can keep an eye on the tooth to ensure it is doing its job. Even though proper oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are the best ways to prevent cavities, dental sealants can be a protective layer to keep cavities at bay. With no risks or side effects, a dental sealant for your teeth seems the right option to protect your smile. At LANCO Dental Care, we offer excellent dental care for your entire family. To schedule an appointment or learn more about dental sealants, call our Lancaster, PA office today.