“You have a cavity.” Those are never the words you want to hear your dentist say. Yet, 90% of adults over 20 have experienced at least one.

While dentists can treat cavities, preventing them is better. One of the best methods for this is dental sealants for adults.

Dental sealants add a layer of protection to teeth, making it more difficult for decay to affect them.

Here is a guide to help you understand how dental sealants work. We’ll also explain the different types of sealants dentists offer.

What Are Dental Sealants for Adults?

Protecting your teeth is vital for your oral health. Dental sealants offer protection against decay, helping you have stronger teeth. But what are they?

You may understand them if you have children. Most pediatric dentists suggest sealants for children, as they offer many benefits. However, adults can also get them.

A dental sealant is a covering a dentist places on a tooth. The procedure is fast and painless, and most dental clinics offer these. 

The sealant begins as a liquid material. The dentist prepares the tooth for the sealant by cleaning and drying it. Next, they apply the sealant liquid to the tooth. 

The liquid covers the tooth and fills in all the crevices. Next, the dentist curates it, which involves drying the liquid. When it dries, it hardens, providing a protective layer over the tooth.

This protective layer surrounds the entire tooth’s surface. The purpose is to add a layer of defense to the tooth. This defense presents challenges to bacteria and decay, stopping the tooth from getting a cavity.  

In most cases, dental sealants only apply to molars and premolars. When used on children, dentists can apply them to primary and permanent teeth. 

Dental sealants won’t last forever. Your dentist will monitor yours at your dental visits. If a sealant shows signs of wear and tear, the dentist might suggest replacing it. 

What Types Do Dentists Offer?

There are two main dental sealant options:

Composite Resin

Composite resin is a common material dentists use to fill cavities. This material is white, but dentists can tint it. Dentists generally tint it to match a person’s teeth before applying it. 

Dentists also use this material for sealing teeth. They apply it to a tooth, ensuring it covers the entire surface. After it dries, it protects the tooth. 

Glass Ionomer

The second option is an acrylic material. This material is clear, making it more difficult to see.

The unique trait of glass ionomer is that it contains fluoride. After a dentist applies it, the sealant releases this fluoride into the tooth. Thus, it provides strength in two ways instead of just one.

Your dentist can help you understand the differences. They’ll also help you select the right option if they offer both. 

What Are the Benefits of Sealants?

You have two options for caring for your teeth. The first is to treat your tooth problems as they occur. Dentists use many dental treatment options to treat all types of tooth issues. 

Treating problems as they arise is costly. Dental treatments can also be time-consuming and painful. Treating your teeth can also lead to a loss of teeth.

The other option is to perform preventative services. As the name implies, these services and procedures help you prevent problems. Preventing problems is the better route, as it’s more affordable and less risky.

Dental sealants are one of many options for preventing issues, and they present several benefits.

The first is their longevity. A typical dental sealant can last up to 10 years if properly applied. This means you’ll have 10 years of protection on a tooth after getting the tooth sealed. 

A dental sealant also provides a high level of protection. A typical sealant stops 80% of cavities from forming during the first two years. The percentage decreases as the sealant ages.

However, the sealant will continue to protect the tooth for many years. 

Another benefit of sealants is that they have no drawbacks. They won’t harm your teeth and naturally wear off with age and use. Thus, they’re not permanent and don’t require harming teeth for application. 

What Are Other Ways to Protect Your Teeth?

Caring for your teeth requires several things, including sealants. But sealants are not the only option. Here are a few helpful tips to follow to protect your teeth:

Daily Hygiene

The way you care for your teeth on a daily basis greatly affects your oral health. Caring for your teeth properly requires intention and time. It’s not overly time-consuming, but it will require about 15 minutes a day.

Daily hygiene requires brushing in the morning and evening. Spend two minutes doing this and use fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day, and rinse your mouth with an oral rinse product. 

Additionally, watch what you eat and drink. Foods with high levels of sugars or starches tend to be the worst things for your teeth. 

Your daily hygiene habits can positively or adversely affect your tooth health more than anything else you do.

Dental Visits

Routine dental checkups also matter. You’ll only need to do this twice a year, and the visits last an hour or less. During these visits, a dentist cleans your teeth and examines them.

The goal is to prevent problems and detect problems early on. 

Treat Problems Quickly

The other vital thing is to address dental issues quickly. For example, visit a dentist if you have a toothache or unusually high sensitivity. 

If your dentist finds decay, get it removed right away. 

Dentists offer services for treating decay and other oral issues. When your dentist suggests a procedure, follow their advice. 

Learn More About Preventative Dental Services

Dental sealants for adults protect teeth. The result is a stronger defense against decay. Sealants might be the solution you need.

Alumni Dental is a team of dentists who care about their clients. We have decades of experience and offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. We’re conveniently located in Lexington, KY. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more.