Brushing and flossing are habits that dentists highly recommend that you maintain in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy. For an added level of protection, consider dental sealants. William G. Ziecina D.D.S., P.C. offers this procedure to patients in Shelby Township, particularly younger patients who may need help in avoiding cavities.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is applied to the teeth to form a barrier between the tooth surface and harmful plaque and debris.

Why use dental sealants?

While toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwashes do a pretty good job of cleaning the teeth, they can still leave behind traces of food debris and plaque that could lead to the formation of cavities. The back molars are particularly tricky to access to clean. Dental sealants are applied to the occlusal (chewing) surface of these teeth to keep them protected. Other permanent teeth may receive sealants, but this is less common. Sealants are usually recommended for children as they are just establishing their oral care habits. They are also recommended for adolescents, who are usually at a higher risk of cavities than adults.

Procedure

The procedure to have dental sealants applied is a quick and simple one and can be completed in one appointment. To have sealants applied, the teeth must have fully erupted beyond the gums. The teeth having sealants applied will first be cleaned thoroughly, then rinsed and dried. An acidic solution will then be applied to them in order to etch the tooth surface, causing it to become slightly rougher. This will help the sealants to adhere better to the teeth. The solution will then be rinsed away and the teeth will be dried before the sealants are applied in a liquid form. They will be hardened with a special light, causing them to become a hard plastic coating.

The teeth can be used as normal soon after your appointment, but it is recommended that you avoid drinking, eating, or rinsing for about half an hour following the procedure to allow the sealants to set completely.

To provide extra protection against tooth decay for your family, learn more about dental sealants at William G. Ziecina D.D.S., P.C. in Shelby Township.

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