Dental sealant, just like the name suggests, is a film-like layer that seals the tooth to protect it from bacteria and consequent decay. The good news is that dental sealants can last for about 10 years or even more with proper maintenance. They are safe for both children and adults alike. Let’s dig into more details.
How Are They Applied?
It all starts with a physical examination of teeth, and once the dentists are sure that there are no issues that need addressing, they go for the sealant. Before doing so, they clean and dry the tooth and then pour a solution on it. This is done to make the surface bond better with the adhesive. After the tooth dries, a special solution is used, and then the sealant is added. Dental sealants are usually in a liquid state, which hardens after pouring.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants are made of liquid composite resin put on teeth to seal and protect them from external factors. They work in stealth mode because composite resin blends easily with natural teeth and is not immediately visible. More often than not, they are applied to the chewing teeth like molars because their location makes them more prone to cavity development.
With proper aftercare and maintenance, dental sealants can safely last on teeth surfaces for 9 to 10 years. However, their optimal function is for the first 2 years, and their effectiveness decreases every year after they cross the 4-year mark.
This is the main reason why sealants need regular checking and examination by a dentist after they are applied. More often than not, this part is covered during bi-annual dental checkups.
Ways to Make Dental Sealants Last Longer
Preserving the effectiveness of dental sealants involves an active approach towards regular dental care. Some tips to make them last longer:
- Brush 2 Times and Floss Once Daily: Regular brushing and flossing is the standard everyone has to maintain for adequate oral hygiene. These actions successfully get rid of food debris as well as bacteria that may feed on them, compromising your enamel and dental sealant.
- Choose Good Quality Mouthwash: take your oral hygiene regime up a notch by finishing it strong with mouthwash. This not only freshens your breath but also deals with the bacteria responsible for damaging tooth sealants that make them last less. A fluoride-based mouthwash can increase the overall strength of your teeth and sealants.
- Cut down Sugar: Dietary modification and consumption of less sugary treats helps sealant on teeth last longer. Even if you do indulge in the delicacy once or more, brush your teeth right afterward to minimize impact.
- Do Not Chew On Hard Objects: Food or no food, chewing on hard objects such as ice or nails is a straight no-no. This habit is a threat to the health of your teeth because it increases wear and tear on dental sealants.
- Fluoride Flush: You can talk to your dentist about boosting the strength of enamel with the help of fluoride treatments. It helps strengthen enamel and enhance the durability of dental sealants.
In a nutshell, dental sealants can last as long as 9-10 years and protect teeth from decay with proper care and maintenance. Couple it with regular examinations and an oral hygiene regime to strengthen its effects. For further information, contact our expert, Dr. Pranav Mody, DDS, at Modena Dentistry by dialing (346) 966-3362 to learn more about the dental sealants we offer. Or, to schedule an appointment, drop by our dental office.