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Why Your Barrie Dentist Might Recommend Dental Sealants

From an early age, we all learn the importance of brushing and flossing. However, despite our best efforts, our teeth can put up a good fight. Some teeth have such deep crevices and grooves that it’s almost inevitable that food will get stuck – and when it does, it can quickly turn into a cavity.

When you’re in for a checkup with your local Barrie dentist and they notice that your teeth have deep grooves, they might recommend dental sealants. If you haven’t heard of them before, you may not be sure what to think. What are dental sealants, anyway? Do they hurt? Will they really help?

Today, we’re going to dive into the world of dental sealants, and how they can help you and your family maintain good oral health for many years to come.

What Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin coating painted onto the chewing surface of a tooth. They’re usually placed on back teeth, like molars and premolars, since these are the teeth that typically have deep grooves that can easily trap food and plaque. Dental sealants work by completely covering these grooves, effectively “sealing” the tooth and preventing anything from eating away at the surface. Of course, there’s no replacement for flossing and brushing, but dental sealants can greatly reduce the risk of developing cavities.

Why Are Dental Sealants Important?

According to the data collected by the American Dental Association (ADA), sealants placed on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%. This is especially important for children and young adults, as children without dental sealants develop three times more cavities than the children who do have sealants – and as of 2016, only 43% of children did. Adults can still benefit from sealants, but the general rule is that the earlier in life they’re applied, the more effective they will be.

Are Dental Sealants Safe to Use?

Absolutely! The most common question we hear about sealants is in regard to their bisphenol A (BPA) content. At Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry, BPA isn’t even a factor – the sealants we use are completely BPA-free. The truth of the matter is that you’re exposed to more BPA just by breathing than you’ll ever encounter from any dental sealant.

We also frequently hear patients express the idea that a fluoride varnish would be just as effective at preventing caries lesions (a form of tooth decay). While a fluoride varnish is important with regard to preventing decay, dental sealants still outperformed them in terms of preventing new decay by 73%.

What Should I Do If My Barrie Dentist Recommends Sealants?

Your Barrie dentist has gone through years and years of training to learn how to keep your mouth healthy, so if they recommend the application of sealants, it’s because they know sealants will help reduce your chances of developing cavities. Sealants are an even better option for children because the application is quick and painless.

Your dentist will first thoroughly clean the tooth or teeth that will be receiving a sealant. The teeth are cleaned and lightly textured with an acid solution and a mini-sandblaster (this texturing helps the sealant stick better), rinsed, and dried. The sealant itself will then be painted directly onto the tooth. It will cure (usually with a special light to help it harden more quickly), and then you’re all set to go!

For more information on our Barrie dental services, including dental sealants, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. We provide preventive, restorative, surgical, prosthetic, and endodontic care to ensure that our patients maintain good long-term oral health. If you’re not sure what you may need, or if you’re just due for a checkup, let us know, and we’ll provide you with a personalized recommendation.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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