Brushing and flossing are integral habits for preventing serious oral health issues, such as cavities and gum disease. However, there are certain areas of your mouth that are more difficult to keep clean than others. The chewing surfaces of your molars contain deep grooves that can trap bacteria and food particles. These areas of your teeth can also be incredibly difficult to effectively maintain, even if you brush and floss regularly. Nicholas Dose, DMD - Family Dental Care can help to protect these vulnerable areas with dental sealants.
What are Sealants?
Sealants are a synthetic application that helps to protect the chewing surfaces of your molars. They are applied to the surfaces of your teeth, covering over the deep crevices of your molars. This helps to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting trapped. At the same time, sealants also help make your teeth easier to clean, helping to further prevent the development of tooth decay.
How are Sealants Placed?
The process for placing sealants is very simple and straightforward. Before you can receive sealants, any existing cavities need to be treated. When ready to place your sealants, we begin by cleaning the teeth. Acid etch applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars. This acid etches aids in creating a rough texture, which helps to enhance the bond between your sealants and your teeth. The acid is washed off, and your teeth are thoroughly dried. Next, the sealant material is applied to your teeth. The material is cured, or dried, and your teeth are provided with immediate protection.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Even though sealants are made from plastic, they are still fairly strong. They can withstand a significant amount of use and can last several years. If they do become damaged, however, they can easily be reapplied.
It is also important to keep in mind that, while sealants are a protective treatment, they are only effective when used in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices. Sealants can only protect the surfaces over which they are applied. It is still possible to develop cavities on other surfaces of your teeth, including around the borders of your sealants. Continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. It is also important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined twice a year.
Are Sealants Only for Kids?
Cavities are generally associated with children, as children are more at risk. Difficulty with proper oral hygiene and attempting to skip out on proper brushing and flossing is often the culprit. However, children are not the only ones susceptible to cavities. Anyone, regardless of age, can suffer this common oral health issue. Approximately 91% of adults have developed at least one cavity in a permanent tooth in their lifetime. If you are particularly susceptible to developing cavities, no matter how well you take care of your teeth, you may be a candidate for sealants.
With dental sealants, the chewing surfaces of your molars are protected from the accumulation of bacteria and food particles. These teeth are also much easier to maintain. For more information, and to find out if dental sealants are right for you, call Nicholas Dose, DMD - Family Dental Care today at (503) 765-7300.