Dental Sealants in El Segundo, CA
A good oral care routine that includes daily brushing and flossing can definitely go a long way in helping you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. For another level of protection, especially for younger children who have a higher risk of developing cavities, dental sealants can be very beneficial. We offer this treatment at Dr. Smile in El Segundo.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is applied to the teeth. They create a protective barrier between the teeth and harmful substances like plaque and food debris.
Why use dental sealants?
If you brush twice a day and floss daily, you’re probably already doing a pretty good job of cleaning the teeth, especially if you also use a mouthwash. However, you won’t be able to reach all traces of food debris and plaque from all of the tooth surfaces. The back molars in particular are difficult to reach and clean. By applying dental sealants to the occlusal (chewing) surface of these teeth, you give them another level of defense against cavities. Other permanent teeth can receive sealants as well, but this is less common.
The procedure to have dental sealants applied at our office in El Segundo is a quick and simple one. It can usually be completed in just one appointment at Dr. Smile. To have dental sealants applied, the teeth must have fully erupted beyond the gums. The teeth will first be cleaned thoroughly. They will be rinsed and dried before having a mildly acidic solution applied to them. This solution will etch the tooth surface, causing it to become slightly rougher to help the sealants bond more securely. The solution will then be rinsed away and the teeth will be dried again before the sealants are applied. They are usually applied in a liquid form, then hardened with a special light. They become a hard plastic coating and can be used as normal immediately following your treatment. Your dentist will recommend letting the sealants set completely for about half an hour after you leave our office, so you should avoid eating, drinking, or rinsing in that time.
Keep in mind that dental sealants do not make the treated teeth completely immune to cavities, so proper oral care habits will still need to be kept.