Dental Sealants Help Protect Your Teeth
At Alaska Dental Associates, we can help your children prevent tooth decay by applying a dental sealant to their teeth. Dr. Kyle Triggs our dental professional here in Anchorage, Alaska offers expert application of dental sealants for his patients. Dental sealant is a plastic coating that is applied by a dentist to your teeth at the chewing surface, especially toward the back of your mouth, that creates a barrier that prevents tooth decay from forming. This procedure offers many benefits for overall dental health.
While dental sealants are usually recommended for children up to 6 years old, they can also be used for children 6 to 12 years old, which is the time frame when their permanent molars come in. Adults can also benefit from this treatment if they’ve never had a cavity before, but it is more commonplace with children. Tooth sealants are a common preventive dentistry procedure because they can add an extra layer of protection that can keep your teeth free of decay for decades to come.
What are Tooth Sealants
Your back teeth, especially your molars, can develop pits and cracks that can trap bacteria. Left unchecked these bacteria can develop into tooth decay. Even regular brushing cannot reach what is trapped in these spots in your teeth, thus making them a different problem to prevent and care for.
Dental sealants are made of plastic or resin material, and are usually clear or tooth-colored. These are an optional treatment used by dentists to protect a patient’s teeth from tooth decay, and are considered preventative maintenance. The area is cleaned thoroughly, and then the sealant is simply painted over the chewing surface of the teeth. It then hardens, providing a protective barrier from the bacteria caused by debris stuck in your teeth.
You may think you’re not at risk of developing tooth decay in those areas, as you brush and floss regularly, but it can happen to anyone. All it takes is one tiny piece of food becoming stuck in a spot that you can’t detect easily. That little piece of food escapes the reach of your toothbrush, and it survives several brushings. All the while, it slowly transforms into harmful bacteria, which starts eating away at the area where it happens to be stuck. Before long, it starts creating pits and cracks, and you may experience excruciating pain or discomfort.
If you’re not in time for a preventative sealant, a tooth sealant will fill in the gaps and prevent things from getting any worse.
What is the Purpose of Getting Your Teeth Sealed
Preventing cavities is a daily job, and many people work hard at it. But sometimes brushing and flossing alone may not be enough to prevent it completely. This is where tooth sealants applied by a dentist are an important part of preventative maintenance in caring for your teeth.
Even if you brush and floss regularly, think of how it can happen with a very small incident. For example, you had a steak dinner. You brushed and flossed thoroughly – or so you thought. A tiny piece of steak is still lodged in an undetectable spot, like in your back teeth, and you don’t even notice it yet.
Everything is fine for a while, and you’re keeping up your good brushing and flossing routine. Sometime later, you feel a discomfort in that area, or maybe even some mild pain. That tiny piece of steak has been sitting there gathering bacteria. The bacteria are attacking your teeth, forming cracks and pits. Meanwhile, any food you eat gets stuck in these dental intrusions. The next step is dealing with tooth decay, all from that tiny speck of food.
A dental sealant covers your teeth with a coating that will keep food from getting settled in those spots in the first place. The dentist “paints” this sealant on your teeth, and then cures it with a special light to harden it. The material easily fills those gaps in your teeth, keeping bacteria out.
When you’re looking for dental sealants in Anchorage, contact us for expert treatment. If you want to protect any of your remaining teeth unaffected by tooth decay, or you want to help your children protect theirs, contact us for an appointment.
Even if you’re dealing with tooth decay and it’s too late for dental sealants, reach out to us and we’ll be able to get your treatment for your teeth, and ensure your other teeth won’t be impacted by decay in the future. The treatment can be done painlessly and within a day, making it easy to fit the appointment into your busy schedule. Give us a call or stop in at our Anchorage office today.