You have many options for improving your oral health when you visit Laughlin Dental twice yearly for checkups and preventive care. Among these options is a tooth sealant. Sealants coat your permanent molar and premolar chewing surfaces. The dentist applies this material to help you protect your teeth from decaying bacteria and acids.
You brush and floss each day to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth. But your toothbrush does not reach into all of your molar and premolar nooks and crannies. So some plaque and food particles remain on your teeth, despite your best attempts at cleaning. This is where tooth sealant adds extra protection for your healthiest smile and bite.
About Tooth Sealant
Tooth sealants, also called dental sealants, are liquid tooth coatings made of plastic. When applied by your dentist, this clear, white or slightly tinted coating reaches into your molar and premolar grooves where decay often occurs. The plastic coating serves to protect your teeth from their biggest enemies of plaque, bacteria, and acids.
Your chewing teeth grooves are microscopic, making even toothbrush bristles unable to clean them well. Plaque builds up in these grooves, where bacteria acids attack your tooth enamel to form cavities. Sealants coat these fissures and create a smooth surface.
Dentists use sealants at different times in your life. The first time usually takes place when your new permanent molars erupt from your gums. The sealing protects these new teeth and others continuing to grow into place in your early pre-teen and teen years.
In some cases, the dentist uses sealants for baby teeth. But this is less common than for permanent molars and pre-molars. However your dentist applies them to your benefit, sealants have proven effective since the 1970s. Studies prove sealants work to help prevent tooth decay for many years.
How Does the Dentist Apply Your Tooth Sealant?
Before applying your sealant, the dentist or hygienist thoroughly cleans your teeth with a paste. They use a rotating brush much like an electric toothbrush.
After rinsing and drying your teeth, the dentist applies an acidic solution onto your molar or pre-molar tooth chewing surface. After a few seconds, this solution flushes away as well. But in the few seconds, the acidic substance is on your tooth, it makes the surface of the tooth rough so the sealant will attach.
Your dentist dries your tooth again, then places your sealant on the tooth’s chewing surface. Using a special light, the dentist hardens the plastic. Or, the dentist uses a special sealant that does not require hardening. After hardening, the surface of your tooth feels like natural tooth enamel.
Even with sealant, your dentist sometimes chooses to apply fluoride, as well. Fluoride differs from sealants, as this decay prevention substance reaches all parts of your teeth, protecting more than just back teeth chewing surfaces.
Do I Need Tooth Sealants?
Your Pasadena, Texas dentist at Laughlin Dental provides many preventive services like sealants. Each preventive method works to help you keep decay from damaging your teeth. After all, everyone wants their healthiest, best-looking smile.
Dental services provided by Laughlin Dental include:
- Preventive dentistry
- General dentistry
- Restorative dentistry
- Family dentistry
- Lumineers and Invisalign
- Cosmetic dentistry
Families and individuals from all over Pearland, Houston, Deer Park, and Pasadena turn to Dr. Lloyd Laughlin and his caring team in Pasadena. Schedule your visit with Laughlin Dental now by calling 281.864.0996. Whether you need a routine checkup, tooth sealant, or other dental care, that care takes place at Laughlin Dental.