Your teeth are incredibly strong and equipped with protective enamel that helps them provide you with a lifetime of service. Unfortunately, inadequate dental hygiene, genetics, and a sugary diet may have other plans, which can lead to decay and even the loss of your teeth.
To help give your teeth an extra layer of protection, our team here at Peninsula Dental Excellence offers preventive services that include dental sealants. Both Drs. Jeff Yoshihara and Colin Au want to ensure that our patients have the tools they need for great dental health and dental sealants can certainly play a role.
Here’s a look at what dental sealants can accomplish and who can benefit from this type of preventive dental care.
Children are equipped with 20 baby teeth that give way to 32 adult teeth as they reach adolescence. When these secondary teeth begin to come in, we want to do everything we can to protect them, especially the all-important molars at the back that do the bulk of the chewing.
In most cases, kids go through molar eruptions at the ages of 6, 12, and then the wisdom teeth at 18. These ages aren’t exact and your child may differ, but it gives you an idea of the general timeline of molars.
With a dental sealant, we coat the surfaces of the molars to prevent harmful bacteria from making their way in and creating tooth decay.
This procedure is so successful that the CDC reports that sealants protect against 80% of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years.
While these numbers may suggest that sealants cease to work after time, that’s not the case. We take our time applying the sealant and use only top-quality materials, which can provide protection for 10 years or more.
While dental sealants are commonly used when a child’s permanent molars come in, this procedure can also play a role in adult teeth.
If you have molars that feature deep and hard-to-clean grooves or you’re already trying to manage decaying or damaged molars, we can turn to a dental sealant to shore up the tooth’s barrier against bacteria.
The procedure for getting dental sealants is incredibly easy. When you come in, we first identify the molars we want to protect and thoroughly clean them. Once your molars are ready, we apply the sealant and then use a light to harden the seal.
While sealants go a long way toward protecting your teeth, this coating shouldn’t be a replacement for great hygiene. We still urge you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to ensure that you’re adequately addressing harmful bacteria.
If you’d like to learn more about dental sealants, please contact our office in Mountain View, California.