Sealants are Very Effective at Protecting Teeth
Dental sealants are a great invention, and are extremely effective at protecting teeth. However they can only be applied to healthy teeth that do not have any cavities or teeth that do not have any fillings. Once a tooth has been filled then it cannot be protected against further decay with dental sealants. This is the reason why it is so important to have dental sealants applied to your children’s permanent adult teeth as soon as they have erupted.
Dental sealants will usually last for up to ten years, after which time they may begin to wear and chip, and will not continue to protect the tooth so effectively.
Once applied this thin plastic coating is virtually invisible, and will not affect the way the teeth bite together.
Dental; Studies on the Effectiveness of Dental Sealants
Dental studies have found that dental sealants can be 100% effective at preventing tooth decay, provided they are properly maintained and are replaced whenever necessary. An oral health report in 2000[i] from the Surgeon General found that dental sealants can reduce cavities by up to 70%. When dental sealants and fluoride are used in combination on the teeth of school age children, then another study [ii] found there is the potential to just about eliminate tooth decay in this age group.
Not Just for Children
Dental sealants are usually applied to children’s teeth, simply because their newly erupted teeth are likely to be free from decay. This doesn’t mean this tooth decay prevention treatment is unsuitable for adults. Anyone who has healthy back teeth that do not have any signs of cavities can have dental sealants applied.
Adults are less likely than children to develop cavities in their back teeth, but this affordable dental care treatment is still well worth considering.
Dental Sealants Can’t Do All the Hard Work
Dental sealants are excellent at helping to just about eliminate tooth decay in healthy teeth, but this treatment does only protect the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It’s still vitally important to make sure teeth are brushed twice a day, and that they are flossed thoroughly once a day. Without regular daily dental care the rest of the teeth will develop cavities, as well as signs of other diseases such as gum disease.
It’s also important to take your child to visit your pediatric dentist for your family dentist at regular intervals for checkups as dental sealants can chip and wear out, and some may need replacing more frequently.