Dental Sealants Brookline, MA
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Dental sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean.
What Are Sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth's surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective.
When Should Sealants Be Applied?
Sealants are typically applied to children's teeth after their permanent teeth have erupted as a preventive measure against tooth decay. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
To place a sealant, an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then brushed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is being painted right onto the tooth. The liquid sealant then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants can last for up to 10 years and may be reapplied if necessary.