What is a tooth sealant?
In order to effectively prevent tooth decay, the skilled dentists at Washington Center for Dentistry can apply sealants to the teeth. With this procedure, thin plastic coatings are attached to the back of the teeth on the grooves of the chewing surfaces. The sealants prevent food and germs from collecting and adhering to these surfaces, which can lead to tooth decay. Sealants are commonly applied to molars (after baby teeth have fallen out), which usually appear around 6 years-of-age. This quick and easy procedure is most useful on teeth that have just developed and formed above the gum line.
"November '13 update: This practice continues to set the bar for dentistry in DC. After I arrived, they brought me back in no time. The hygeniest (her name escapes me at the moment) was friendly and skilled, and hooked me up with some goodies (floss, etc.) upon leaving. Dr. Fordjour saw me this time and quickly put in a sealant. As always, the office is a beautiful and modern space that is well-maintained."- B.S. / Yelp / Nov 13, 2013
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
Applying sealants is a quick and easy procedure that requires no drills or any other intimidating-looking instrument. First, one of our dentists will clean the tooth and apply a special gel on the chewing surface. The gel will stay on for a few seconds before it’s washed off and the tooth is dried. Next, the dentist will paint the tooth with the sealant. A special light can be shone on the sealant to further harden it. It takes around a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield to prevent the tooth from future damage.
Do sealants Prevent Decay and Cavities?
Although sealants are a great way to protect teeth from decay/cavities, there are other things that patients must do in order to keep their teeth and mouth healthy. It is important:
- To brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- To floss teeth at least once a day.
- To eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet with limited sugar.
- To visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.
When all of these steps are followed, along with your dentist's instructions, you can enjoy beautiful, healthy teeth without the need for painful, time-consuming or invasive procedures. Be proactive to avoid the pain.
Does getting sealants hurt?
No, it doesn't. Having dental sealants applied to your teeth doesn't require any drilling or having tooth enamel removed. The sealant is simply brushed onto your teeth in a quick and comfortable procedure.
Can adults get tooth sealants?
Yes, they can. While tooth sealants are commonly applied to children's and teens' teeth to protect them, adults can also enjoy the protective benefits of tooth sealants.
Are dental sealants safe?
Some people may have read that dental sealants contain BPA (bisphenol acid). While true, sealants only contain minute trace amounts of BPA. Research has shown that the oral health benefits far outweigh any possible negative effects from BPA since it only lasts up to three hours after the sealants have been applied.
How long do sealants last?
While dental sealants can fall off or be damaged, they can typically last up to nine years before they may need to be reapplied.
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Keep Your Teeth Pristine
Just like you, the staff at Washington Center for Dentistry wants to keep your teeth healthy, beautiful and free of decay and cavities. Since we pride ourselves on patient education, we are more than happy to give you more information about sealants and how they can go a long way in preventing these issues. Our professionals will also give you the tools needed to properly care for your teeth for maximum benefits. If you think sealants are the way to go for your teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule your consultation.