Dental sealants protect against cavities and decay by “sealing” the grooves and pits of your teeth, keeping out bits of food and debris that can lead to plaque buildup. They are usually recommended for children and teenagers, so most adults assume that adults either cannot get them or do not need them. However, adults can certainly benefit from getting sealants too.
WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?
Dental sealants are thin barriers made of plastic that are molded over your teeth. They form to the small grooves of your teeth that are too narrow for the bristles of a normal toothbrush to reach during brushing. The sealants protect your tooth enamel by sealing out food and bacteria that cause plaque buildup and eventually cavities and decay. Sealants are clear so they are not noticeable, they are easily applied, and they can last up to ten years before needing to be reapplied.
The reason dental sealants are most commonly placed in children and teenagers is because our teeth are most susceptible to cavities and decay when they first come in. The chewing surfaces of new teeth are uneven and have lots of grooves where food and plaque can get stuck. As we age, our teeth get worn down and the “nooks and crannies” become less prominent, so bits of food do not get stuck as easily.
WHY ADULTS SHOULD GET SEALANTS
However, just because adults’ teeth do not typically trap food as easily as children’s teeth does not make them immune to cavities and decay. Everyone’s teeth are different, and some adults might have chewing surfaces that trap food particles more easily than others. Additionally, everyone is at risk for cavities and tooth decay regardless of their age, especially if you have less-than-perfect oral hygiene or consume a lot of sugar. Dental sealants are a good preventative measure, and it is much easier to prevent against tooth decay than to treat it after it happens.
Contact our office today to learn more about dental sealants.