Can Adults Get Dental Sealants?
If you have kids, you are probably accustomed to them having dental sealants placed on their teeth. This is a normal procedure pediatric dentists often recommend, but have you ever wondered if dental sealants can be placed on the teeth of adults? Dental sealants can be used for adults, but they are not used often. Here are a couple things to understand about dental sealants.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are cosmetic dentistry products are designed to keep decay away from teeth. Dentists often recommend applying sealants to teeth as soon as the adult teeth erupt completely. To apply one, a dentist brushes a clear liquid over a tooth. This liquid hardens and is made of a plastic material. Once it hardens, it protects the tooth. Sealants can be placed on any teeth, but they are primarily used on molars. Once they are applied, they will usually last for several years. At that point, a dentist may recommend replacing them.
Why are they used more with kids?
Dentists can place sealants on the teeth of adults, but they are used more for kids as a preventative tool. When teeth first erupt in a child's mouth, they typically have deep grooves and depressions in them. These areas are prone to cavities, simply because bacteria and debris can get trapped in these areas relatively easily. If a child doesn't have good brushing habits, he or she may end up developing cavities faster.
As a person ages, his or her teeth start to even out a little. This means the grooves in the teeth are not as deep, which means they may not be as prone to cavities. This is one of the reasons they are used on children more often than on adults.
In addition, dental sealants are typically only used on teeth that are free of cavities and fillings. Many adults have fillings in most of their teeth, and sealants do not do well when they are applied to teeth that have fillings. This is a second reason they are not used as often with adults.
Should you get them?
If you are an adult and are interested in getting dental sealants placed on your teeth, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can examine your mouth to see if you would be a good candidate for these. If so, you can protect your teeth with dental sealants, and this could help you keep cavities away. To learn more about this, contact a dentist today.