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Tooth decay is a painful condition to endure caused by the buildup of waste products from bacteria that eats into the enamel and, if serious enough, the softer tissues of the teeth. What starts as a small cavity can become a major health concern if it isn’t caught quickly, and can lead to complications down the line.
While treating tooth decay is possible and often effective, the best way to treat it is to prevent it from happening altogether. Dental sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (also called molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean while brushing and flossing, even if done regularly.
Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11 and 14. This later development can mean an awkward adjustment in dental hygiene habits, especially when those habits are established early on.
In fact, though adults can and often do have this procedure done, children benefit the most from dental sealants; the earlier they are applied, the healthier your teeth can be going forward. The Center for Disease Control even says that, without sealants, children have almost 3 times more 1st molar cavities than those with sealants. So, it is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.
Sealant application is quick and painless. To place a sealant, an adhesive is first applied to the cleaned and dried teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid; this looks much as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria.
Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied as necessary. There are no major side effects to dental sealants, and allergies to them are relatively rare, making it a low-risk procedure for patients of any age. Additionally, sealants are covered by many common dental insurance plans as a preventative procedure, making them an affordable option.
If you and your loved ones are ready to take control of your dental health, you can contact the Pearly Smile Dental Studio team. We’ll be happy to set up an appointment with Dr. Maha Bishara, our dentist with decades of experience in the industry and a passion for helping her patients feel comfortable and confident in their smiles.