Cavities can form in our teeth from a very early age. We know the tell-tale signs of an untreated cavity : toothache, sensitivity in the teeth to hot or cold liquids, and pain when chewing. By the time we recognize these, we have no choice but to have a Carlsbad dentist fill in the cavity.
Wouldn’t it be better, though, if we could prevent cavities altogether? This applies not just to ourselves but also to our children. And the answer is that, yes, we could prevent them with the use of dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
First, let’s make it clear how cavities form. A dentist in Encinitas or anywhere else could tell you that though a number of factors normally cause tooth decay, it comes down to how much plaque builds up in your mouth. Plaque is a thin coat of food, saliva, and bacteria that sits over teeth and eats away at them if left alone. This is, incidentally, why brushing and flossing are so important: they remove that plaque.
Now, cavity-fighting sealants are no substitute for daily brushing and flossing, but they can greatly help. That’s because dental sealants are a thin plastic coating applied to the surface of a tooth. Once applied, they can keep plaque off the tooth and, according to many a dentist in Del Mar, prevent cavities for up to two years.
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
Sealants are meant for permanent back teeth with no cavities; however, we know of cases where dentists apply sealants to baby teeth. Generally, a dentist in Encinitas would tell you that the ideal candidates for sealants are children and teenagers, again, provided that the teeth in question are permanent teeth. Additionally, older adults whose gums are receding and exposing their teeth to bacteria can benefit from sealants.
Different Types of Sealants
Sealants can be made from different materials. Composite resin dental sealants, the most common, are made from plastic and ceramics, are water-repellent, and are durable, lasting up to a decade.
Another option is to get a coating made from a glass ionomer cement, a kind of paste sometimes used as a dental filling. The paste contains fluoride, a mineral that’s essential to warding off bacteria attacks in your mouth, so a GI sealant does have the advantage of giving your mouth added protection. On the other hand, it’s not as wear-resistant as the resin kind.
Contact Solana Family Dental Today
At Solana Family Dental, we have a dentist for Del Mar, Carlsbad, and surrounding areas, and one of our specialties is dental sealants. For more information, simply call us today.