Sealants are plastic, thin coatings that seal off the grooves and depressions on the biting surface of the back teeth. They will act as protection against acids and plaque in these cavity-prone spaces on the chewing surface of the teeth.

While regular flossing and brushing can remove food particles from the smooth top surfaces of your teeth, it is more difficult to get into the tiny grooves and depressions. Decay is caused by the bacterial breakdown of a food source into acid that dissolves away the enamel cover of your tooth. Sealants will act as protection against acids and plaque in these susceptible spaces.

Sealants are most effective if they are applied to a child’s tooth right after it erupts. A child’s first permanent molars will erupt at around six years of age and at around the age of 12 for the second permanent molars. Premolars also are good candidates for sealants.

Sealant application requires no anesthesia. They can be painted on in only a couple of minutes per tooth. First, the tooth is cleaned, and the chewing surface is “conditioned” using an agent that aids the sealant in bonding to the enamel. After the sealant is applied, sometimes a “curing” light is used to accelerate the bonding process.

At Bedford Dental, in addition to our kind and experienced team, you’ll find convenient family scheduling, financing options, a children’s play area with video games, TVs in exam rooms, and more. For more information on sealants and other preventive services, contact Bedford Dental at (708) 496-8896.