What Are Dental Sealants?
One of the tools we use in our cavity-prevention arsenal at Dentist of Torrance is dental sealants. Dental sealants are a way to protect otherwise vulnerable teeth that might be prone to cavities. A sealant in dentistry is a special protective coating that is painted over certain teeth to seal and protect them.
Teeth such as the molars are particularly prone to cavity formation due to their bumpy, irregular surface. Dental sealants cover up and smooth out these bumps so that bacteria do not collect and fester on the tooth. The sealant also strengthens the tooth to reduce cavities.
Who Can Benefit From a Dental Sealant?
While dental sealants can sometimes be utilized to prevent cavities in adults, they are most commonly used in children. Sealants are usually applied after the child’s permanent teeth have erupted. Not every child may need dental sealants. Sealants are very helpful, however, for children who are prone to cavities, contain deep grooves in their molars, and/or have issues maintaining proper dental hygiene.
At What Age Should Dental Sealants Be First Used?
One of the best times to begin using dental sealants is immediately after the first permanent molars erupt in the mouth, which is around the age of six. We would then recommend more dental sealants when the second molars erupt around age 12.