Sealants in Plainfield, IL
What Is a Dental Sealant?
As teeth develop, pits and fissures or deep grooves form on the surface of the tooth. The pits and fissures are the most cavity-prone areas, especially in children. Your dentist will carefully evaluate which teeth would benefit from dental sealants.
Dental sealants are commonly placed on a child’s adult molars, as soon as they erupt, in order to help prevent cavities. Sealants are a resin-based material that is applied to the chewing surface of a tooth. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and isolated, prior to placing the dental sealant. Cavities commonly occur in the deep pits or fissures of the molars. Sealants will help prevent food and bacteria from accumulating in these hard-to-reach areas of the tooth.
As Easy As 1-2-3!
- A small amount of cleaning solution is applied to the tooth, to provide a surface that the sealant can attach to.
- The primer is applied to the tooth to prepare for the sealant material.
- The sealant material is placed into the deep grooves of the tooth and hardens on its own or by exposure to a blue light.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants are typically long-lasting. However, they need to be evaluated regularly by your dentist. The sealant can remain on the tooth for many years, if proper care is taken. Some hard foods, such as hard candy, chewing ice, or sticky foods (like taffy), may dislodge a sealant and should be avoided. If the sealant becomes dislodged, your dental professional will make sure the tooth is cavity-free and re-apply the sealant.
How Effective Are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are effective in preventing cavities on the chewing surface of a tooth, as long as they are intact. Keeping all of your maintenance appointments with your dentist, can ensure the longevity of the dental sealants.
It is important to remember that cavities can also occur on other surfaces of the tooth not covered by sealants, such as between the teeth! Proper brushing and flossing is necessary to protect the entire tooth from bacteria and cavities.
Tips to Help Prevent Tooth Decay
- Oral hygiene! Follow your dentist’s recommendations of brushing at least two times a day for two full minutes.
- Avoid eating a lot of sugary and sticky foods. The longer food stays on the tooth, the more acids will be produced. As a result, sugary and sticky foods can cause more damage. Even healthy snacks, such as raisins and dried fruits, can cause tooth decay, if they are left on the surface of the tooth for a long period of time.
- Cut down on snacking between meals. This will help prevent plaque from producing acids and will reduce the time that your teeth are exposed to harmful acids.
- Consume more calcium. Calcium helps strengthen the hard outer layer (the enamel) of the tooth.
- Drink plenty of water! Water and saliva clean the mouth, by washing away food and debris. Saliva supplies high levels of calcium, fluoride, and phosphate to the surface of the tooth.
- Use a toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride. Fluoride helps make tooth surfaces harder and stronger.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year. Diagnosing decay in its early stage, can prevent unnecessary invasive treatments.