Dental Sealants in Idaho Falls
Dentists in Idaho Falls recommend sealants to patients who are at risk of developing tooth decay. The sealants can be either clear or white. Either way, they bind to the surface of the tooth to cover the pits and grooves, making it easier for people to remove plaque and prevent decay. Sealants help to prevent the acids produced by cavity-causing bacteria from reaching the surface of the teeth, keeping them clean, dry, and cavity-free.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Dentists often recommend placing sealants in children and teenagers. The rationale behind this advice is simple. Tooth decay often begins soon after adult teeth erupt, and parents can’t always be around to make sure their older children and teenagers are practicing good oral hygiene to help combat that decay. Sealants are usually placed as molars and premolars erupt, usually around ages 6, 12, and 18.
Recently, many dentists have begun recommending dental sealants to adult patients, as well. People never outgrow the risk of tooth decay. In fact, the risk of tooth decay rises proportionally with age. If adults have teeth with pitting or grooves, they can benefit just as much as children and teens from getting sealants.
Who Shouldn’t Get Dental Sealants?
Most dentists recommend avoiding the use of sealants in young children. Primary teeth can be sealed. However, the child will need to be old enough to follow the dentist’s instructions effectively and hold his or her mouth open without moving for several minutes. If a younger child is at an increased risk of tooth decay, sealants may still be a good solution.
While sealants can be placed over teeth with signs of early decay, they can’t be placed over restorations, crowns, or implants. Most dentists won’t place sealants over fillings, either. It’s always better to have molars sealed before decay begins to set in and to have the sealant replaced as needed every three to five years.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
The most obvious benefit of getting dental sealants in Idaho Falls is that the procedure will help to protect the patient’s teeth from future decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sealants prevent over 80% of decay for the first two years after application and up to 50% of decay for up to four years.
The application of sealants is considered a preventative procedure. It won’t treat existing decay, but it can reduce the chances of cavities forming in the future. Patients, their parents, and their dentists also report several other benefits of dental sealants. They include:
Improved Oral Hygiene
Most children and teens forget to brush their teeth once in a while, and parents can’t always be there to remind them. Even adults sometimes neglect their at-home oral hygiene responsibilities. While sealants won’t replace the need for daily brushing and flossing, they can help to improve oral hygiene even if patients haven’t yet established healthy habits.
Quick, Painless Application
Applying sealants in Idaho Falls is a completely non-invasive procedure. The dentist will need to clean and dry the tooth’s surface and, if necessary, remove small patches of existing decay. After that, he or she will simply apply the sealant and allow it to cure. The whole process is quick and painless for patients of all ages.
More Cost-Effective Than Fillings
For most patients, the alternative to getting dental sealants is to wait until cavities form, then head to the dentist to have them filled. Unfortunately, dental fillings are more expensive than sealants. Restored teeth also lose some of their structural integrity, even if the dentist filling the cavity is extremely skilled and gets everything just right. The lack of structural integrity can lead to even more trouble down the road.
There has been a lot of debate in recent years about the safety of applying dental sealants in Idaho Falls. The good news is, the primary argument against dental sealants is based on a faulty understanding of the science behind them.
Opponents to sealants often cite the fact that they contain bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen. What they fail to note is that the levels of BPA in patients’ saliva peak just three hours after the procedure and return to normal within 24 hours. People are more likely to expose themselves to significant amounts of BPA by wearing makeup or touching receipt paper than they are by getting dental sealants.
Idaho Falls Dental Sealants May Be a Great Option for Your Children or Young Teens
You’re busy working and handling the demands of daily life. You can’t always be there to monitor your children’s diet, or their brushing habits. If your kids are drinking too much soda or consuming a lot of other foods that can easily lead to cavities, and you suspect their brushing habits just aren’t cutting it, consider the application of Idaho Falls dental sealants. These are a great long-term investment, as they are a great way of preventing cavities.