Dental Sealants in Nashville, TN
Dental sealants are used to prevent cavities on teeth that are more likely to develop cavities. The back of the mouth is where most cavities occur, especially for children. That’s because the surfaces of these teeth are used for chewing, so they have various tiny grooves known as “pits and fissures,” that are prone to collecting food particles and bacteria. No matter how thoroughly you brush, the bristles of a toothbrush have difficulty reaching into the small, dark crevices.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a special plastic coating that is applied to these “at-risk” teeth for an added layer of protection. The sealant material is invisible, usually colored so it blends in with the natural color of your teeth. While dental sealants are available to people of all ages, they are highly recommended for small children. The enamel coating that protects teeth hardens over time, so a child’s newly developed permanent teeth do not have this hardened layer of protection. Even fluoride treatments don’t provide the level of protection that the dental sealants offer.
How Dental Sealants Are Applied
The application of dental sealants is painless and does not require any numbing, and plays an important role in protecting your child from experiencing a cavity and the pain that often occurs with it. Sealants are only used on decay-free teeth. Prior to placing the sealant, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried and an etching solution is applied to the area. This “etches” or roughens the tooth surface so the sealant will be able to adhere to the tooth. Once the sealant is applied, the tooth is dried, and a special “curing” light is used to help the material harden.
Taking Care of Dental Sealants
Routine daily oral hygiene will protect all teeth, with or without sealant. Your dentist will check the integrity of the sealants at each 6-month checkup. Sealants typically last up to ten years and require no special care.
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants in Nashville, schedule an appointment with our office today.
Nashville, TN General Dentistry Office. Call our friendly staff today.
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