You may notice the chewing surface of your premolars and molars are uneven. Tooth-surface irregularity happens because of the presence of grooves and pits. Grooves and pits are essential in chewing food, but they make the development of cavities easy.
Cavities develop when your tooth’s hard enamel is broken down by acid from plaque buildup in your mouth. Bacteria present in plaque in your mouth break sugars from the food you eat into acids that can damage your teeth.
Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth. However, sealants can protect the teeth at the back from plaque and food particles in a way that daily oral hygiene practices cannot reach.
Dental sealants are thin coatings made from plastic, coated on the chewing surface of premolars and molars to protect the teeth from decay. The teeth at the back that do most of the chewing are the ones most likely to decay.
Teenagers and children are candidates for dental sealants because of their likelihood of having cavities. However, sealants are not just limited to children and teens; adults can also get them.
Typically, dentists advise parents to get their kids sealants as soon as their permanent molars and pre-molars come in. This way, the dental sealants can prevent grooves and depressions in the premolars and molars during the ages of 6 and 14, the years that a child is most prone to a cavity.
Dental sealant application is a painless and easy process. Your dentist only needs a few minutes to get the procedure done. Your hygienist or dentist will first clean the teeth that will be sealed. Each of the teeth is dried using an absorbent material or cotton.
Your dentist will then roughen up your teeth’ chewing surface by using an acidic solution. This step helps bond the sealant to your tooth. Finally, your dentist will apply the sealant onto the prepared tooth.
Dental sealants have a gel-like or paste-like consistency. When applied on the teeth, they harden into a protective, strong, and hard coating. Your dentists can shine a curing light on the teeth with the applied sealants to harden them.
Nothing should stop your regular oral hygiene. You should keep up with washing your teeth twice every day using fluoride toothpaste and a clean toothbrush with soft bristles. Flossing your teeth should be done once a day to ensure the areas between your teeth are clean. Flossing helps clean and remove dirt that your toothbrush cannot reach.
Regular dental checkups are ideal for treatments and professional teeth cleaning. Sealants go hand in hand with a complete dental health routine for your general dental health and hygiene.
Dental sealants are quite durable and can last for as long as ten years. Going for regular dental examinations is crucial to check for wearing and chipping of the sealants. Your dental practitioner can have them replaced when necessary.
For more on how you can protect your teeth with dental sealants, contact MAC Family Dentistry at our office in Mandeville, Louisiana. You can call (985) 238-3797 today to schedule an appointment.