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Are Dental Sealants Effective for Adults?

Are Dental Sealants Effective for Adults?

Dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth, where 90% occur. You read that right: 80% of cavities in children in adolescents are preventable! 

You may wonder how to get in on this effective cavity-preventing treatment if you're an adult. After all, tooth decay can happen at any age. 

Thomas O. Marxen, DDS, MSD, and Andrew Keith, DDS, of Advanced Care Dentistry in Woodinville, Washington, can certainly apply sealants to adults. The real question is: Are they effective? 

Here’s what these dental experts want you to know about dental sealants and whether or not adults benefit. 

How dental sealants work

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. They’re made from a liquid resin that sinks into grooves and pits as the dentist paints it on. 

When the sealants harden (within just a few minutes), they prevent harmful bacteria that can cause cavities from penetrating your enamel. Even if you brush and floss well, food and plaque can sneak into the grooves of your teeth. Sealants protect these areas by forming a barrier that bacteria cannot infiltrate and cause decay. 

Of course, before applying sealants, your dentist thoroughly cleans the treatment area to prevent locking in bacteria. The entire application process is quick and painless. 

Sealants effectively protect patients from cavities for up to 10 years and can be reapplied when necessary. They are subject to wearing and chipping.

Adults and sealants

Sealants are commonly applied to children’s teeth but can also be effective for adults. You’re at risk of developing cavities at any age, especially if your oral hygiene isn’t the best or you consume a lot of sugary drinks or foods. 

Adults aged 20-34 have the most untreated cavities. This population could certainly benefit from dental sealants. 

Sealants give adults an extra layer of protection against cavities that form in the crevices of the back teeth. We can apply sealants on adult molars with mild decay; the sealants can prevent full cavities from forming. 

Sealants are also particularly helpful for adults who have very deep fissures in the backs of their teeth. We may also recommend them if you have a dry mouth condition or have difficulty reaching and effectively cleaning your back teeth. 

Sealants as part of your comprehensive oral health plan

Dental sealants are a preventive measure, but they shouldn’t be the only step in keeping your oral health in check. Use them in conjunction with regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene practices, and a healthy diet. 

Sealants can help reduce the risk of cavities but aren’t a replacement for regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings. If you’re due for a cleaning, schedule with us!

If you’d like to explore how dental sealants can help you and your family prevent cavities, contact Advanced Care Dentistry today. We have much experience in preventive dental care and can determine if sealants or other measures are right for your dental health. 

Call the office or reach out via this website to schedule an appointment.

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