Most adults know that they need to brush and floss daily to prevent tooth decay, but it’s challenging to clean every part of your tooth. Especially the molars that are tucked in the back of the mouth. Molars have small bumps and dips in the enamel, making it nearly impossible to clean them thoroughly. Further, if it’s challenging for adults, it’s almost impossible for children. That’s why Dr. Earl Gaball of Battle Creek, Michigan and his team offer dental sealants as part of their teeth care plan for patients of any age. This quick and pleasant procedure can help prevent cavities for many years.
Dental sealants help prevent cavities by providing a barrier between the food and drinks you consume and the enamel of your teeth. Sealants are a thin, protective coating applied to the tooth enamel. Sealants are used on the chewing surface of the back teeth and reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.
Having sealants applied is an easy and non-invasive dental procedure that even the most dentist-adverse patients tolerate very well. First, the teeth must be carefully cleaned, removing all food particles and bacteria. Next, an acidic gel will be placed on the teeth to ensure a strong bond between the tooth’s enamel and the dental sealant. Finally, the sealant is placed, and a light is used to ensure that it dries and becomes hardened. The sealant is clear and invisible to an untrained eye.
Dental sealants can be administered to both children and adults. However, dentists agree that the sooner they are placed, the better the tooth can remain free from cavities. Children typically cut their first set of molars around the age of 6 and the second set of molars around age 12. The dentist will advise if the teeth are ready for a sealant during a regular dental checkup. In some cases, a sealant can be placed over a very small amount of tooth decay to prevent further damage.