Cavities can sometimes manage to infiltrate our teeth even when we do our best to keep up a good brushing and flossing routine. The grooves on the chewing surfaces of our teeth, also known as “fissures”, are often prone to plaque accumulation and tooth decay. Since these fissures are quite deep and narrow, they aren’t very easy to clean with a toothbrush. When enough plaque manages to accumulate in our dental fissures, acid-producing bacteria can destroy enamel and eventually cause painful cavities.
Dental sealants are often used to protect fissures from plaque and bacteria invasions. Though they’re often used to protect kids from childhood cavities, they can also be incredibly effective for teenagers and even adults.
How Do They Work?
As the name implies, dental sealants seal the chewing surfaces of teeth to keep out plaque, bacteria, and food debris. They’re basically a shield that protects vulnerable fissures and surfaces from large chunks of starch, sugar, and bacteria found in every day snacks, meals, and beverages. Once a dental sealant has been applied your teeth become less likely to suffer from infections, cavities, or other problems caused by outside invaders.
How Are They Placed?
Getting dental sealants is incredibly easy, quick, and pain-free. Before applying sealants, your dentist will first clean and dry your teeth. After that, he or she will then place acidic gel to ensure that the sealant sticks well to your teeth. Once that’s done, your teeth will be rinsed free of gel and dried once more. Finally, your dentist will apply dental sealants over your teeth then harden them with a special curing light.
Why Get Dental Sealants?
According to the CDC, dental sealants are effective at preventing cavities in areas where they are most likely to occur (the permanent back teeth). They can also keep you from spending too much on expensive invasive treatments like root canals or extractions by protecting you from 80% of cavities for the first two years, and 50% of cavities for the next four years of use. If you already have cavities, dental sealants can keep a tooth from worsening or possibly getting extracted due to extensive damage.
Dental sealants are an absolute must for parents of young children. They can prevent kids from developing invasive plaque and painful cavities for years without causing any side effects or feeling too bitter for comfort. Even if your child has a strong sweet tooth, he or she won’t end up with any serious tooth pain or damage for a long time.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Sealants
Like any other orthodontic treatment, dental sealants come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some important tidbits to consider before getting your own dental sealants.
Dental Sealant Pros
1. They Prevent Tooth Decay
Dental sealants are known to be highly effective tools for cavity and tooth decay prevention. They’ve been known to significantly reduce the rate of cavities in children, as well as in teens and adults, by up to 80%. If you’ve managed to catch a case of tooth decay or cavities early on dental sealants can keep the problem from getting worse and save your tooth from an early demise.
2. They’re Painless and Worry-Free
Compared to more expensive and invasive dental treatments, dental sealant application is quick, easy, and most of all painless. If your child struggles with anxiety at the dentist’s office, you can ease some of their worries by having them undergo a procedure that’s fast and risk-free. Since there won’t be any drills, hooks, or painful injections to worry about, your child will be able to relax and realize the importance of regular check-ups.
3. They’re Easy to Maintain
Dental sealants are also quite durable and easy to use. All you need to do is visit your dentist regularly for maintenance and practice proper oral hygiene to ensure its effectiveness. Reapplication is simply a matter of rinsing off and placing gel all over again, so you and your child don’t have to worry about any painful or hour-long follow-up procedures.
4. They Blend Right In
You don’t have to worry about bright stains or huge chunks of metal when using dental sealants. Since they’re colorless and most certainly invisible, it will be hard for anyone to notice that you’ve got something new on your teeth. Furthermore, since dental sealants are usually placed over the chewing surfaces of teeth, they can’t easily be seen when you smile or laugh.
Dental Sealant Cons
1. They Aren’t Always for Everyone
Dental sealants aren’t a viable option for anyone with severe tooth decay and cavities or existing fillings. If the inside of a tooth has already been damaged quite badly, there’s simply no other way to fix it except through proper dental treatments. Placing a dental sealant over a badly damaged tooth might not solve the problem at all since bacteria that’s already inside can still cause serious trouble. People with veneers or dental implants might also be discouraged from using dental sealants in order to prevent any complications.
2. They Can Fail
The effectiveness of a sealant depends mostly on the skill of the dentist applying it. When a sealant isn’t applied correctly over a tooth, or if a tooth isn’t cleaned and dried properly during the procedure, bacteria can seep in and damage both the enamel and inner pulp. This can lead to visible discoloration of the tooth, as well as severe pain. A tooth that was once healthy can end up in terrible shape if the procedure is botched in any way.
3. They Aren’t BPA-Free
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a synthetic compound used in the production of several commercial products, such as plastic bottles and CDs. Dental sealants use a very minimal amount of BPA, and there aren’t any health concerns or side effects that have been caused by any sealants according to the ADA. Still, many feel wary about using dental sealants as they want to avoid any risks associated with BPA exposure.
If you don’t really feel like undergoing additional dental procedures due to health or budget concerns, there are several other options at your disposal. One other way to prevent plaque and cavities from ruining your smile is to use a highly effective dental scaler. Meeteasy’s dental scaler prevents painful cavities and other oral health problems by thoroughly removing plaque, food debris, and bacteria from areas where your toothbrush just can’t reach. Every use of it is guaranteed to make your teeth stronger, healthier, and more resilient against harmful microbes. Try one today and see great results in no time!