Sealants are thin, protective coatings made of a special type of plastic painted on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They work to seal off the grooves and pits on your teeth where bacteria collect.
Sealants prevent the most cavities when applied soon after permanent molars come into the mouth (around age 6 for 1st molars and age 12 for 2nd molars). Will it hurt to get a sealant? Getting a sealant is easy and does not hurt. The tooth is cleaned and a gel may be placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds.
Step 1: Clean
Cleaning the tooth is essential for proper sealant. This ensure that the bacteria is totally been eliminated before sealant is applied. Sealants are a quick, easy, and painless way to prevent cavities. A tooth without a cavity is stronger and healthier than a tooth with a filling or untreated decay. Sealants are also less expensive and easier to apply than fillings.
Step 2: Prep/Etch
Etching doesn’t hurt. It’s a process of scrapping the tooth or teeth in order to roughen the teeth slightly. This prepares the suffice for the seal coat by making the tooth porous as to accept the sealant coating.
Step 3: Seal
Sealants have shown to still work 9 years after placement. However, sometimes they do fall off, so they should be checked at regular dental appointments. If a tooth loses a sealant, the protective shield is gone and the tooth can get a cavity. Missing sealants are easy to replace.
Step 4: Cure
Sealants are one part of a child’s total preventive dental care. Visit CDC’s Children’s Oral Health for additional ways to prevent cavities. Once cured, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.