As a family and general dentist, Dr. Clint Newman can address dental problems. If you have teeth damaged by decay, restorative dentistry treatments can repair your smile.
But what if you could prevent cavities from occurring in the first place? Preventative care, such as dental sealants, can help protect your smile from decay and damage, helping you maintain your beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.
Here, our Nashville, TN team explores dental sealants and explains how they can help protect your teeth.
What Are Dental Sealants?
By design, molars and premolars have deep grooves and pits. These features help you chew and grind up food for digestion. However, these areas can be prone to cavities because bacteria can breed in hard-to-reach places.
Dental sealants are protective coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These shield your teeth from bacteria, debris, plaque, and food deposits.
If you like analogies, think of sealants as rain jackets for your teeth.
Are Sealants Just for Kids?
Many people assume that dental sealants are just for younger patients. While it is true that sealants are an important part of your child’s oral health, this treatment can be just as effective for adults.
In fact, many of our adult patients have dental sealants applied, especially if they are prone to tooth decay. Sealants provide a barrier and help protect the teeth from cavities.
Dental Sealant Treatment Process
Placing dental sealants only takes about five to 10 minutes at our practice. Before applying the sealants, your hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove any debris, including plaque, tartar, food deposits, and bacteria.
Next, the teeth will be completely dried and a mildly acidic solution will be applied. This roughens the surface of the teeth and helps the sealants adhere properly.
Finally, the sealants will be applied. Sealants are painted on as a liquid, then hardened with a special curing light.
How Often Should I Have Sealants Applied?
In most cases, dental sealants last approximately 10 years. However, they can chip and wear down over time. Therefore, it is important to have your sealants routinely checked by your dentist.
Although sealants are an excellent way to reduce the risk of cavities, it is important to note that they are not intended as a replacement for proper oral hygiene.
To maintain the health of your teeth and gums, you should:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between the teeth daily using floss, dental picks, or interproximal brushes.
- Use an alcohol-free antibacterial rinse to keep harmful microbes at bay.
- Visit your dentist regularly for examinations and cleanings.
Contact Our Practice for More Information
If you are looking for ways to preserve your oral health and protect your dental investment, consider what sealants can do for you. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (615) 334-0184 or (615) 385-3507.