Dentist Palo Alto, CA
Tooth decay is an unflatteringly common issue in our society but has a rather drastic impact on children. Kids as young as 24 months old can be affected by it too. This happens when the bacteria and acids in your mouth combine and attack the enamel. It damages the tooth and paves the way for cavities to take shape.
If tooth decay is neglected and not treated early, it can lead to infection and tooth loss in the long run. Broken teeth and tooth loss caused by tooth decay can produce more oral problems. Dental sealants can protect your teeth and prevent this from happening. If you have been affected by some of these issues and are interested in putting a stop to them, visit us today at Palo Alto Oral Health and let our dentists, Shiv Sharma DDS and Christina Lin DDS help you!
Dental Sealants and How They Are Applied
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These are usually placed at the back teeth or the premolars and molars. The sealants are made to quickly bond with the teeth and form a thin protective cover over the enamel of each tooth where they are put on. They fill up the pits and small grooves that are hard to clean with a normal toothbrush.
Sealants are put onto the teeth making it easier to clean them, it protects and prevents them from decaying. Limiting sugar intake, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and drinking a lot of water can prevent tooth decay. The process of applying dental sealants is easy. It takes only a few minutes for the sealants to be applied to the teeth. The first step of the procedure is getting sealed and thoroughly cleaned. The next step is to dry them. A cotton or other absorbent material may be used to keep the tooth dry.
An acid solution will then be put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up. This helps the sealant bond with the teeth. After that, the teeth are rinsed with water and dried. Lastly, the sealants will be planted onto the tooth enamel to allow it to bond with the tooth and establish itself tightly. In some special cases, a curing light is used to help the newly applied sealants to harden.
Advantages of Having Dental Sealants
There are a lot of advantages having dental sealants can give to someone. Sealants are mostly known to block and fill up the grooves and small pits in the teeth making them smooth and easier to be cleaned. This does not stop here; it also forms a layer or a protective shield for the enamel of each tooth where the sealants are placed.
Though regular flossing and brushing can remove plaque and particles of food from the surface of the teeth, a normal toothbrush may not remove them in the crannies of the back teeth. Sealants will seal these vulnerable areas and keep the bacteria from storing themselves in the teeth.
Aside from protecting and covering the teeth from plaque and food particles, dental sealants can help prevent more serious oral issues too. Cavities are the damaged areas on the surface of the teeth that can develop into tiny holes and small bits of food and bacteria may store there if no solution is given. Sealants can prevent cavities from developing in the teeth.
They can also prevent the teeth from decay that are caused by different factors such as eating sugary food and not having proper oral hygiene. Dental sealants are safe and easy to apply, and the whole process, which is fairly painless, takes only a few minutes. They do not dissolve in saliva and can last several years.
Who Are Candidates for Sealants?
Dental sealants are perfect for teenagers and children that are between the ages of six and 12. Adults without fillings in their molars can also benefit from them. Children should get sealants as soon as the premolars and permanent molars come in. This way, their permanent teeth can be protected from cavities.
Sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth in some cases. The baby teeth play an important role in keeping the spaces for the permanent teeth that will soon follow and sealants can protect them so the teeth are not lost too early.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect your teeth for up to 10 years. However, it is recommended to get dental sealants applied every two to four years wherein patients are involved in cosmetic dentistry. Over time, dental sealants in the molars can wear down due to the excessive chewing that they are exposed to in a person's everyday life.
For this reason, it is recommended to get regular check ups to ensure that your sealants are still intact. You can prevent your dental sealants from being damaged by avoiding damaging behaviors like chewing hard candies and ice. Although sealants can help prevent tooth decay, it is not a replacement for proper dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing are still required to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
More Information About Sealants in Palo Alto
Dental sealants are known to protect the back teeth by keeping away food particles and plaque from accumulating. A lot of people may not know this, but sealants can also be used to cover areas of early decay to prevent the further damage it can cause to your teeth. Sealants are clear and they are easy to look at and check if they are doing their job.
They are painless when applied, safe, and there are no known side effects from them. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities from developing, but it is not always easy to clean the crannies and nooks in your molars or back teeth. There is a solution for this: dental sealants. It is a thin plastic that is used to cover the premolars and molars to prevent the bacteria and plaque from forming.
Schedule An Appointment For Dental Sealants in Palo Alto
If you are interested or have children that can benefit from dental sealants in Palo Alto, come see our dentists at Palo Alto Oral Health. You can also schedule a visit by calling us at (650) 321-9693 today!