HOW LONG DO SEALANTS LAST?
Sealants usually last several years before they need to be replaced. Over time, sealants can become loose or worn. Then they may not protect the teeth as well. Chewing on ice or hard foods can also break down sealants. During regular dental visits, your dentist will check your sealants and reapply them if needed.
HOW ELSE CAN I PROTECT TEETH FROM DECAY?
Sealants protect only the chewing surfaces of teeth. To prevent cavities, follow these Healthy Smile Tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth once a day.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
These good habits stop decay from forming in between the teeth-spots that sealants cannot cover.
WHO SHOULD GET SEALANTS?
Sealants are most often placed in children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in. But adults can sometimes benefit from sealants too, because you never outgrow the risk for developing cavities.
A sealant can be placed on a tooth that does not have a cavity in its pits and grooves. If a tooth is stained or has mild decay, your dentist may suggest you get a sealant, or another option may be necessary. If a tooth has more advanced decay, it will need a filling.
Prevention is always better than treatment. Sealants are very useful in preventing tooth decay on the back teeth and can save patients money over time. Your dentist can make sealants part of your plan for a healthy mouth.
Sealant photos courtesy of Dr. Adam A. Francois.