Dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, effectively sealing off the surfaces of teeth and preventing bacteria from causing cavities. With benefits like that, many adults wonder if they can have sealants and reap the benefits of fewer cavities.
At Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center, Marvin Taylor, DDS, offers durable dental sealants for pediatric dentistry patients and adults at his Waterford, Michigan, practice. In this post, learn about sealants and how they work and can benefit your smile at any age.
How dental sealants work
A layer of enamel covers your tooth surfaces, the hardest substance in the human body — about as hard as steel. Your enamel provides a strong barrier against bacteria that cause cavities. But even though enamel is durable, it can still be damaged by years of chewing, acid erosion, and trauma.
Often, wear-and-tear causes grooves, pits, and cracks in the enamel. These pits and cracks are so tiny and narrow that even brushing can’t get them completely clean, which means they’re perfect harbors for sticky plaque and bacteria.
Dental sealants are clear, brush-on products that seal the tooth’s surface, providing a physical barrier to decay-causing germs. We apply sealants during a regular office visit, typically after a routine cleaning. In most cases, the chewing surfaces of your molars or premolars are where they get applied.
Benefits for adults, too
Traditionally, sealants are for younger patients — primarily kids just getting their “adult” teeth. The goal was to apply sealants before teeth had a chance to develop decay or require fillings or other repairs.
But more recently, adult patients are opting for sealants, too. Data show young adults 20-34 years old have the most untreated cavities in their molars, meaning intervention for these patients could be very important in helping them avoid serious oral health issues.
For adults with molars or premolars that don’t have cavities or repairs, sealants can be a great way to prevent decay in the future, regardless of age. The key is seeking treatment before cavities occur. Applying sealants after you have a cavity or filling could wind up sealing in bacteria and causing more serious issues later on.
We can help preserve your healthy smile
Quick, painless, safe, and effective dental sealants can be a great choice for patients of any age. To learn more about dental sealants and whether they’re right for you, call 248-681-8100 or request an appointment online at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center today.