Girl Brushing TeethThe plastic tooth sealant material placed on your teeth as well as the dental sealants for kids, has reached its final hardness. You may now eat, drink, floss and brush normally.

The dental sealants act to decrease the likelihood of decay occurring on the chewing surface of the tooth. Dental sealants do NOT protect the flossing surfaces nor does it protect the surfaces next to the cheek and tongue. The sealant is not a guarantee against teeth cavities, but it is the best protection available. However they have been found to be greater than 90% effective in preventing of decay if the above recommendations are followed along with good oral health care and six month visits to the dentist.  You must continue to thoroughly brush and floss the entire tooth to prevent cavities on teeth.

The sealant is tinted white so that you can see it easily. Some wear of the plastic will occur as the material is abraded by food particles, tooth brushing, etc. The material deep in the pits and grooves will be protected from wear by the adjacent tooth structure and will continue to function for five to seven years. Dental sealants appear as thin thread-like lines on the chewing surface.

Occasionally a sealant will come off. If this occurs, it is usually within the first month after placement. Therefore, we ask that you look at the tooth sealant frequently in the next few weeks. If one should be absent please call our office to arrange an appointment for replacement (we will replace sealants at no charge for a period of one year). It can be reapplied as often as necessary, though a single application may be all that is needed.

Thornley Dental clinic will check the sealants at each of your examination appointments to be certain they are present and functioning correctly.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay.  When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.  A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten.  If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

 

To keep the sealants in good condition avoid:

  1. Chewing ice

  2. Popcorn kernels 

  3. Hard and/or sticky candy and foods

  4. Grinding your teeth

Doing any of the above may result in sealant loss.

Sealant retention is about 85% over a three year period.  The most common area of sealant loss is the upper six year molars for children and the molars for adults because two surfaces are sealed and the junction is stressed with chewing.

 

It is recommended you come and see us every six months:

  • To check the condition of the sealants

  • Receive a professional cleaning 

  • Oral evaluation.

Five to ten percent of all sealants will need repair or replacement each year.  This is why visiting Thornley Dental every six months is critical.

The phosphoric, citric, tartaric and/or carbonic acid in soda in now linked to breaking down the tooth enamel around dental sealants and fillings leading to more extensive dental treatment.*