It can be easy to forget how important oral hygiene is. Most likely you brush your teeth regularly. Maybe you occasionally floss, if you’ve been extra diligent. To most people, this is enough to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
As you get older, though, the risk of tooth decay starts to grow. Adults lead busy lives and need to be extra careful about keeping their oral hygiene in good condition. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is a good start to maintaining healthy teeth.
But there’s more you can do to make sure you don’t develop cavities or tooth decay. One of the best ways to keep your oral hygiene in the best possible condition is by using dental sealant.
I Already Brush and Floss! What More Can I Do?
To be clear, regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is absolutely essential for good oral hygiene. If you are on a regular schedule with cleaning, you’re already off to a great start.
What, then, can you also do for a healthy mouth? To start, try checking your toothbrush that you currently use. Carefully. A lot of the time, especially if you’ve been using the same brush for a while, older toothbrushes lose their effectiveness.
If your brush’s bristles are worn or bending, they probably are missing a lot of bacteria, food remnants, and plaque in the grooves of your teeth. All these particles can build up over time and eventually cause painful cavities.
Even with a new, sturdy toothbrush, you will likely only penetrate certain areas of your teeth. Couple this fact with business at work, taking care of your children, and other busy parts of your life, and it can be easy to see how you can fall behind on your oral hygiene.
So what else can you do?
You Can Use Dental Sealant! Ever Heard of It?
Dental sealant is key to maintaining good, lasting oral hygiene. Dental sealant acts as a barrier between your tooth enamel and harmful bacterial particles.
It’s no replacement for brushing or flossing your teeth, but it is absolutely effective at preventing and delaying tooth decay in both children and adults.
What exactly, though, is dental sealant? How do you even use it on your teeth?
Basically, it’s a liquid you apply to the top part of your tooth. Dentists then cure it under a special light. Ultimately, dental sealant becomes a plastic-like coating that will last you for years. Your dentist will usually apply sealant to premolars and molars, since that’s where your teeth decay the most.
Having your dentist apply sealant to your teeth is typically quick and painless. But you still might be wondering how, exactly, the procedure works. After all, it can be overwhelming to have dental procedures done.
Thankfully, there’s absolutely nothing to fear about having dental sealant applied to your teeth.
I’m Interested in Dental Sealant, But I’m Anxious About the Procedure
The process for having dental sealant applied is quick and painless. But people tend to get anxious that the procedure will be an ordeal. This is luckily far from the case.
Let’s quickly review the common process that your dentist will likely follow when applying dental sealant:
Clean: First, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth. Afterward the tooth surface gets rinsed, just like normal tooth cleaning.
Prime: Your dentist then primes your teeth with a special material. This will lightly roughen the surface of your teeth, which helps dental sealant stick to them.
Rinse & Dry: After your teeth are primed for 10-15 seconds, your dentist will rinse your teeth with water. They’ll then dry your teeth to adhere the sealant.
Seal & Cure: After your teeth have had time to dry, your dentist will apply sealant to your teeth with a curing light. This light hardens the sealant into a plastic-like coating.
Assess the Bite: Finally, your dentist will have you bite down a few times to make sure there’s no sealant getting in the way. If there’s no build-up of sealant interfering with your bite, it means the process is complete!
And that’s the extent of the procedure. There’s no shots, no drilling, and absolutely no pain when you have dental sealant applied. You don’t even need to worry about changing up your diet — you can immediately start eating and drinking.
Getting Dental Sealant Applied — What’s the Final Verdict?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants cut down on cavities by 86% in the first year and 58% after four years
These statistics also apply to adults. Getting dental sealant applied to your teeth early on makes it easier to avoid time-consuming and painful corrective treatment. Without a good application of dental sealant, you risk developing cavities or decaying teeth.
You can expect your dental sealants to last for a long time, at least up to five or more years. It’s a good idea to check in with your dentist to ensure they’re in good condition. They will help you determine whether your sealant is starting to wear away.
As long as you keep up with a regular brushing and flossing schedule, your dental sealant should last you for a long time!
About Stafford Oral Surgery
Stafford Oral Surgery is located just off Garrisonville Road and provides our clients with oral surgery focusing on facial, jaw and dental treatments. We primarily serve patients living in or around Stafford, VA area. Our team of dedicated surgical associates and professionals offers you to experience our friendly and efficient office environment. You can expect a consistently excellent level of care from our team and can choose from services ranging from extractions and dental implants to facial trauma surgery and bone grafting. Our compassionate and experienced surgical professionals are happy to provide you with the oral surgical care you need the most. The team at the Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists office and our local dentists in stafford, va very much look forward to providing you with your next oral surgery experience.