Did you know … teeth sealants are an effective and popular way to prevent cavities in molars and premolars. And they aren’t just for kids!
Sealants are plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Because the sealant material is fluid when applied, it effectively fills the grooves of molars and bonds securely to the tooth to create a barrier (seal) against decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. This physical barrier also prevents food from sticking in deep crevasses.
Sealants can help save your smile under many circumstances…
- Brushing dexterity – For many reasons, some people find that brushing effectively can be physically challenging.
- Change in habits – When young adults leave the nest, many experience a change in hygiene habits and diet.
- Introduction of medicines – Many medicines cause dry mouth. Lower saliva levels (leading to lower enamel remineralization and lower acid neutralization) can lead to cavities.
When should sealants be applied?
For kids, it’s best to apply sealants shortly after their primary molars emerged – usually between 1 and 3 years – and again once their permanent teeth begin to erupt – usually between age 6 and 13.
For adults, we can apply sealants any time there’s a risk of decay, no matter how small.
Are sealants long-lasting?
Yes! At APS Dental Center in Linden & Bethany Dental Care in Hazlet, we have seen sealants last for up to 10 years! Because they are subject to wear and tear, everyone with sealants needs to keep their regular recall appointments so that we can keep an eye on their performance and to check whether they’ve chipped or have worn away, as both will compromise their effectiveness.
Call today to ask if sealants can help you – or a loved one – smile more!
Yours in dental – and overall – health,
Dr. Charanjit Sandhu, your Hazlet & Linden, NJ general dentist