Dental sealants are thin plastics used to prevent teeth decay. The sealants are painted (on your teeth) to cover the depressions and grooves that regular brushing and flossing don't always get too. Due to this covering, bacteria or bits of food are prevented from attacking the teeth. Here are two things you can do to get the best out of your dental sealants:
One problem with dental sealants is that they don't last forever; they are susceptible to normal wear and tear and can even fall off. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, (NIDCR) they can last as long as ten years.
Note that your sealants will only last that long if the application is done by a professional dentist. If the application is shoddily done, and the sealant is applied while your teeth are wet, then the sealant may not stick properly. This usually happens with kids, whose mouths tend have lots of saliva.
Therefore, if you want to seal your kid's teeth, choose a dentist who knows how to handle children and can get him or her to open his or her mouth properly.
Preventing Decay Under the Sealant
Even professionally installed sealants eventually wear down, or may even fall off due to dental accidents. The greatest danger is when the sealant partially falls off or becomes permeable. When this happens, bacteria can get underneath the protective layer and cause teeth decay. This decay can fester for a long time without you knowing what is really happening.
It is important to maintain your regular dental care if you don't want to experience such teeth damage. The good news is that there is no special maintenance care for sealants, but it is important to visit your dentist as regularly as you used to before sealing your teeth. The dentist will look for cracked or worn portions and repair then appropriately if necessary.
If you notice that portions of your sealants are missing, then you should see your dentist soon for a re-sealing. If you have sealants that have lasted for several years, then you should have regular screenings to monitor them.
Dental sealants cost about $35 to $60 per tooth, but the protection you get is worth far more than that. Moreover, many dental insurance policies offer coverage for their application. Check with your insurer and contact a dentist, such as Bedich Joseph D DDS FAGD, to see if dental sealants are an option for you.