Teeth have tiny grooves, so small that they toothbrush bristles don’t reach them and that can mean the accumulation of bacteria in those areas, which can in turn lead to cavities and tooth decay.
But the good news is those grooves can be filled with sealants before bacteria does damage to the teeth, and it’s a practice Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar of BellaVista Dental Care highly recommends.
“Sealants have a high prevention rate, and I would recommend them for children as well as for adults,” she said.
Sealants are a resin-based material that is flowed into tooth grooves to shield bacteria or food particles from getting in.
“It’s almost like caulking a crack in the wall,” said Bhatnagar.
The American Dental Association estimates sealant retention rates of 70 percent in primary teeth after three years of placement, but dentists will reevaluate the sealant on regular checkups to ensure it’s doing its job.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Sealants prevent about 70 percent of cavities, and are generally covered by dental plans for children – though adults should still consider sealants as an option for oral health.
While a proven method, Bhatnagar says the effectiveness of sealants can range from person to person.
“It will vary based on how much the person is eating, and what they’re eating,” said Bhatnagar, who warranties all her tooth seals.
Bhatnagar says while the anatomy of the mouth won’t allow sealants to be used on everyone, for those who qualify, it can be a huge difference maker that doesn’t come with any side effects.
“Sealants are fantastic. We won't recommend it for every single person, but for those whose anatomy fits, we will most certainly recommend it,” said Bhatnagar.
A dental professional can determine whether sealants will be an effective choice for you.