A barrier to decay.
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 a plastic resin that bonds and hardens 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. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure after the permanent teeth have erupted as a way to prevent tooth decay. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth. Still, every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants typically last from three to five years. However, it is relatively common to see adults with intact sealants from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact. If your sealants come off, let your dentist know and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be resealed.