Shield Your Smile: How Dental Sealants Block Cavities

Shield Your Smile: How Dental Sealants Block Cavities

0 June 25, 2024

Brushing and flossing are the greatest ways to avoid cavities, but cleaning every nook and corner of your teeth – especially those back molars you chew with, isn’t always simple. Molars are coarse and irregular, making them an ideal hiding area for leftover food and cavity-causing germs. Still, there’s a safety net in place to keep those pearly whites clean. It’s known as a sealant. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to seal the small grooves. Sealants can prevent the onset of tooth decay (cavities) by shielding sensitive tooth surfaces from the acid that causes cavities due to food lodgement. Back teeth have grooves on their chewing surfaces that are sealed to prevent food particles and germs from settling in the cracks and creating cavities. Your dentist, dental hygienist, or another dental expert can apply dental sealants.

Who can get sealants?

Sealants are beneficial to both children and adults, but the sooner you receive them, the better. Around the age of six, your first molars arrive, and around the age of twelve, your second molars burst through. Sealing these teeth as soon as they emerge can help prevent cavities from developing, saving time and money in the long term. Inquire with your dentist about whether or not sealants are a good option for you and your family.

When can you get dental sealants?

When you consume a diet heavy in processed foods, refined flours and sugars, and sugary drinks on a daily basis, you risk developing deep grooves in your molars and developing cavities.

What is the procedure for putting these dental sealants on?

  • The tooth is thoroughly cleansed.
  • The tooth is dried, and cotton is wrapped around it to keep it dry.
  • The solution is applied to the tooth, roughening the surface somewhat. A little rough surface allows the sealant to adhere more easily.
  • After rinsing and drying the tooth, it is polished. The teeth are then wrapped in fresh cotton to keep them dry.
  • The sealant is applied as a liquid and hardens in a matter of seconds.
  • The sealant is in place.

How do dental sealants work?

Consider them to be dental raincoats. When cavity-causing bacteria found in everyone’s mouth come into contact with residual food particles, acids are produced, which can cause holes in teeth. Cavities are what these holes are. Sealant prevents food particles out of your teeth and germs and acid from accumulating on them, similar to how a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.


• They can help prevent cavities.

• They are quick and painless to apply.

• They are less expensive than fillings.

• They are safe (BPA is not an issue).


• They may seal in deterioration if it already exists. 

• They are optional and so add to the cost.

• They don’t last indefinitely.


Dental sealants are pleasant, and scientific study has shown that there are no known side effects from the use of dental sealants. If sealants aren’t applied correctly or they get fractured/ dislodged, reapplication is necessary as it can lead to development of  cavities by creating crevices for plaque and debris to stick to, or by allowing germs and undiscovered rot to dwell and spread beneath the surface. Ceramic-based products, rather than those containing BPA, Bis-DMA, or bis-GMA, are linked to the lowest degree of overall health risk.

How do I care for my sealants?

Dental sealants are simple to maintain and maybe cleaned and flossed just like natural teeth. Use a toothbrush having soft bristles and toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite, a remineralizing agent.

Diets heavy in berries, espresso, teas, and wine may discolor them. If you eat chunky, mushy, crunchy foods, sealants may “pop” off.

Are Dental Sealants Just for Children?

Kids are more prone to cavities since they do not always clean their teeth correctly. As a result, children’s dental sealants are usually suggested. Sealants are usually placed on a child’s adult molars as soon as they erupt, at the age of six. Sealants for an infant’s teeth may be recommended by dentists in some circumstances if the kid is at risk of decay. Adults, too, may benefit from dental sealants. Sealants may be an option worth exploring if you are more prone to cavities than others. It is essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks of sealants, regardless of age.

Is it possible to apply a sealant on a tooth that already has decay?

Clear sealants can be applied over tiny cavities to prevent rot from spreading further.

However, before applying a dental sealant, it’s important to cure any existing decay (or take efforts to reverse it, depending on the degree of the decay).

How long do dental sealants last?

Sealants can last anywhere from 3 to 10 years, depending on the procedures employed.

Patients who:

• Clench/grind their teeth

• Have acid reflux

• Consume a high-acid diet may find that their sealants don’t stay as long.

Can dental sealants be removed?

Dental sealants may generally be removed quickly and easily with the use of a laser or a dental drill to precisely remove the substance.

The healthy tooth structure is left intact, and it can be resealed if required.

Removal of dental sealants allows you to:

• Seal up the tooth with a ceramic sealant. 

• Repair chips or cracks in existent sealants

• Remove improperly fitted sealants

• Expose hidden decay that may subsequently be repaired

A sealant is usually left in place until a dentist notices a problem or the patient (or parent) wants it for another reason, such as to alter the materials used.

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