Parents spend much time and care safeguarding their children, including protecting their oral health. Yet, cavities are still the most common chronic condition in young people. What can you do to keep away decay? Dental sealants offer a special layer of protection to keep your child’s teeth safer. As one of our treatments to preserve children’s teeth, this preventative coating can improve oral health in children and adults alike.
Would you like to protect your family’s teeth? Schedule a visit with HCD for dental sealants in Anchorage!
What Are Dental Sealants?
At your children’s dental appointment, your dentist may suggest they have dental sealants. The chewing surfaces of your teeth are exposed to food, beverages, and, ultimately, bacteria. These can cause cavities, which are holes in your teeth caused by decay. Your back teeth are particularly vulnerable to cavities, partly because they are harder to brush and floss.
However, your dentist can apply dental sealants to your teeth to make their surfaces smoother and add a layer of protection. The sealants are thin plastic coatings that provide an effective barrier against food and germs. The procedure is pain-free, quick, and doesn’t require anesthesia. Once your dentist applies the coating, it becomes transparent so that all you (and others) see is the natural appearance of your teeth. Here’s more about the procedure and the results.
How Are Sealants Applied to Teeth?
First, your dental team prepares your teeth with teeth cleaning. This is your standard cleaning, which you should regularly have. Then, the dentist paints a gel onto your teeth. The gel goes into the natural grooves of your child’s teeth. Finally, the dentist might use a special light to help the plastic seal harden. You don’t need any anesthetic because this quick procedure is pain-free.
When Should You Get Dental Sealants?
Children can benefit from getting dental sealants between the ages of six and fourteen. However, even adults can prevent further decay by having the sealants reapplied in later years. Starting early can set your child up for good dental outcomes over a lifetime.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants are the most effective in the two years after they are applied. During that time, they prevent 80% of cavities. Through the next two years, they prevent about 50% of cavities. In some cases, dental sealants can protect teeth even longer. Since these coatings can be reapplied as needed, you or your child can have a high level of protection for a long time. That’s why our HCD family dentistry services include dental sealants.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
The primary benefit of having dental sealants applied to your teeth is cavity prevention. Yet, think about all the benefits you get from not having cavities. Protecting your teeth means fewer fillings, less tooth loss, fewer dental procedures, and less pain.
Damaged or missing teeth can cause speech difficulties. Without healthy teeth, you or your child may have trouble chewing nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Lacking proper nutrition and fiber, your overall health may begin to deteriorate. You may be embarrassed by your teeth and suffer from low self-confidence.
While dental sealants can’t guarantee that you’ll never have any problems with your teeth, the protection they offer can prevent many dental issues. And keeping your teeth healthy improves overall health and saves you money in the long run. At Health Centered Dentistry, we aim to provide holistic dental care for children and adults who want to be healthier and more self-confident.
Are Dental Sealants the Best Cavity Prevention Treatment?
Dental sealants are an effective prevention method, but they are not a standalone treatment. All the routine dental treatments work together for better dental health and overall well-being. Your Health Centered Dentistry dentist in Anchorage creates a treatment plan that contains all the components needed to keep your teeth strong and bright for the long term. Here’s how dental sealants figure into this plan.
Dental Sealants vs. Fillings
Dental sealants and fillings serve two different purposes. Fillings are a form of repair for teeth that already have cavities. They keep the decay from spreading, reduce or eliminate pain, and strengthen your teeth.
Dental sealants cannot take the place of a filling. Their purpose is to prevent holes in your teeth so that you don’t need fillings. In fact, if you or your child comes to the dentist with a cavity, the dentist won’t apply dental sealants without repairing the hole first.
Dental Sealants vs. Fluoridated Water and Products
Fluoridated water can help protect teeth by making the enamel stronger against acids that could cause decay. Many foods and beverages are acidic and can damage your teeth’s enamel. Fluoride, whether in your water or dental care products like toothpaste, strengthens the enamel, while dental sealants keep food separated from the enamel.
When used together, sealants and fluoride make a cavity-fighting combination. In fact, some dental sealants contain fluoride and release it slowly over time for long-lasting protection. In short, both are helpful, work in different ways, and can be used together for maximum protection.
The Role of Oral Hygiene Habits
Oral hygiene is always important, even if you or your child has had dental sealants applied. Remember that these sealants keep away 80% of cavities for the first two years. What about that other 20%? That’s where strict attention to oral hygiene can help.
The best thing you can do is be sure you and your children consistently follow good oral hygiene habits, brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and avoiding too many acidic foods. You can learn more about the importance of maintaining the best acid/alkaline levels in our blog, Why the pH Level of Your Saliva Is Important for Your Dental Health.
Keep Up with Regular Dental Visits
Seeing your dentist regularly can make a substantial difference in your oral health. At regular dental appointments, your dentist has a chance to catch problems before they become too severe. Digital x-rays identify problems early. Routine cleanings keep your teeth at their best.
What’s more, the dentist can teach your child many important lessons about how to care for their teeth. They explain dental sealants, answer your and your child’s questions, and instruct both of you on good dental hygiene. Regular dental visits also keep your dental health at the forefront of your mind, encouraging you to take better care of your teeth.
Getting Dental Sealants in Anchorage
At Health Centered Dentistry, we practice holistic dentistry aimed at improving your overall dental, physical, and emotional well-being. We provide preventative, restorative, and aesthetic treatments to preserve your overall health. Dental sealants are just one of our preventative services that can benefit both children and adults.
We use the latest dental technologies and products to ensure you have the best oral care possible so that you and your children can have strong, healthy teeth. We keep up with the latest research to ensure you have the best dental care possible. With help from HCD, you can keep your teeth, preserve your whole-body health, and enhance your smile now and in the years to come.
Want to protect your dental health? Set an appointment for dental sealants in Anchorage at Health Centered Dentistry!