Hudson NC Dentist Tells Why Sealants Help Prevent Tooth Decay for You & Your Children

Getting a cavity filled is no fun, especially for a child. The majority of children’s cavities occur in the tiny groves of the back molars, where bacteria are often missed by a toothbrush. Good preventative dentistry often makes use of dental sealants to help stop cavities before they can start.

Facts About Dental Sealants
• Sealants are made of clear or shaded plastic and are applied to teeth.
• They dry hard, either on their own or with the help of a special light.
• Permanent molars are most in need of sealants as the saliva in your mouth, which cleans smooth surfaces of your teeth, often does not get to all of the grooves.
• Even primary (“baby”) teeth and premolars can benefit from sealants.

1. When should a child get sealants?
Since even primary teeth can benefit from sealants, once they have erupted completely, sealants can be put on. The first molars generally appear around age six. Some general dentists, however, choose only to use sealants on permanent teeth.

  1. Will it hurt to have sealants put on?
    No. The sealant is simply brushed onto the tooth surface and, since there is no pain, no anesthetic is even needed.
  2. What is the process of having sealant put on teeth?
    First the teeth are thoroughly cleaned by your general dentist. Next, an acid is placed on the teeth to help the sealant bond best. This is rinsed and the teeth are dried. Finally, the sealant is brushed on and allowed to dry for several minutes. Sometimes a special light is used to help it dry.
  3. How long will sealants last?
    They will often last for many years. Biting on hard foods repeatedly is one cause of them coming off. They can be reapplied by your dentist as deemed necessary.

While brushing and flossing are still highly recommended as the number one way to prevent cavities, sealants are a useful tool as well. They have been shown to reduce cavities in molars by up to 80 percent. Preventative dentistry is always a good choice when it comes to the health of your mouth.

Call our general dentist in Hudson NC today to ask if dental sealants are right for you or your child.