Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. Brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective when you seal those deep grooves.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth after their permanent teeth have erupted as a preventive measure against tooth decay. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend this treatment on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants typically last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. They only provide protection when they are fully intact so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be resealed.