You might remember when you were a kid visiting your dentist and receiving dental sealants on your teeth. In adulthood, you might not undergo this preventative dental treatment as often. Does this mean sealants are limited to pediatric dental patients?
No, patients of all ages can benefit from dental sealants and their protection against cavity formation. If you want to learn more about the advantages of this solution and how it relates to your dental care, call your dentist. You can also read on to learn more about sealants and who makes ideal candidates for this general dental treatment.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant refers to a protective coating that a dentist can apply over vulnerable teeth. It is made from a thin layer of composite resin painted onto the tooth enamel.
It hardens to create a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria that may form a cavity. A cavity occurs when natural oral bacteria eat away at your enamel to form a hole in the tooth’s surface.
A dentist can fill the resulting hole in the tooth after drilling away the decay. But ideally, you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can. The sealants will shield the teeth to block bacteria from accessing the enamel to give you cavities.
Will Sealants Help Adult Dental Patients?
Dentists will offer sealant to their pediatric dental patients for a few reasons. Kids tend not to brush their teeth as well as they should, meaning their teeth become more susceptible to cavities without extra protection from sealants.
But adults will form tooth decay too and might have risk factors that put them at a high risk of cavity formation. They could have poor oral habits or have underlying health problems that make their teeth vulnerable to decay. For instance, certain medications can cause dry mouth or bruxism.
In these instances, at-home and in-office preventative dental care might not be enough to stop cavities. Dental sealants on adult patients’ teeth can preserve the look and feel of their smiles for longer.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Talk to your dentist if you think dental sealants will help you keep your teeth healthy. The dentist will evaluate your current dental structure and your medical history to determine if this treatment will help you reach your oral health goals. Each dental patient has a unique smile that will require personalized treatment for the best results.
You will still need to practice good oral hygiene if you want to properly prevent cavities. This will include brushing your teeth at least twice per day, flossing each day, and attending routine teeth cleanings from your dentist.
However, sealants will serve as a boost of protection, especially if you carry risk factors that make your teeth weak and in danger of decay. Discuss more preventative dental care tips when you visit your dentist for your next check-up.