While brushing and flossing remain the best ways to clean teeth and prevent the onset of tooth decay, the chewing surfaces of back teeth often contain deep pits and grooves that trap food and bacteria. Therefore, even for individuals that commit to regular dental care, it is difficult to keep sticky substances and plaque from hiding in the crevices of back molars. For this reason, dentists place a high value on dental sealants as a way to safely and efficiently stop decay.
With the ability to reduce one’s risk of developing cavities by up to 80%, teeth sealants are comprised of a thin plastic or other dental material that is “painted” onto the biting surfaces of back teeth. In essence, the sealant provides a smooth surface over the tops of back teeth, becoming a barrier against cavity-causing bacteria. Sealants can even benefit teeth with early-stage tooth decay by stopping the progression of infection.
Dental sealants have long served an important preventative step for children, and are typically placed as soon as the first permanent molars appear. Even so, adults can benefit from the placement of dental sealants as well.
Seal Away Tooth Decay With Dental Sealants
It’s true—there’s no substitute for good oral care and regular dental examinations. Yet, dental sealants provide a great supplement to any oral health treatment regimen by providing a protective coating for teeth that are vulnerable to decay. What’s more is that process of placing sealants is easily achieved in a single dental visit.
To begin, dentists clean and dry a tooth before placing an acidic gel over its occlusal (biting) surface. The gel “roughens” the texture of the tooth so that the sealant material bonds appropriately. Once the gel is washed away, the liquid sealant is applied directly to the tooth, filling the tiny grooves before it sets and hardens. Because the dental sealant is clear, dentists can monitor the sealant at each visit to ensure that it remains intact.
Having been used since the 1970’s, dental sealants are a vital component of cavity prevention. To learn more about how dental sealants can benefit your family, contact us today!