A dental sealant is a thin white resin used to protect the chewing surfaces of the teeth. At Seine River Dental Centre we generally apply this treatment to decay-prone surfaces - usually the molars and pre-molars of children and teens.
Why apply sealants?
Chewing surfaces of the back teeth are typically rough and uneven with small pits and grooves. This can be an ideal place for cavities to start. Food and germs can collect here because toothbrush bristles cannot always brush them away. Germs in the mouth change the sugar in food to acid, which can start a cavity in the tooth. Sealants keep food and germs from getting trapped in these hard-to-clean areas and help prevent tooth decay.
When should sealants be applied?
The ideal time is before decay has a chance to attack the teeth. For some children this may be as young as 3 years of age.
How are sealants put on?
First, the tooth is cleaned and dried thoroughly. The sealant is then applied in semi-liquid form which hardens within a few seconds with the help of a special dental light. This painless procedure involves no freezing or drilling.
In addition to sealants, are there other ways to prevent tooth decay?
Yes! Sealants can help prevent cavities on some parts of our teeth. Overall, the best way you can help prevent tooth decay is to reduce your sugar intake, floss your teeth regularly, brush with fluoride toothpaste and drink fluoridated water. Sealants and fluoride, along with careful flossing and brushing, provide the best defense against tooth decay.