Have you ever noticed how uneven the chewing surfaces are on your back teeth? That’s because these teeth (your molars) have pits and grooves. Though these pits and grooves help grind food, they also can make it easier for cavities to develop.
Cavities occur when acid breaks down the hard, protective enamel surface of the tooth. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that coats everyone’s teeth all the time. When you eat, the bacteria in plaque produce the acids that can break down tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth and cleaning between them helps remove the plaque and food particles that can cause this breakdown, so these are 2 important things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing decay. However, it is difficult to clean inside the pits and grooves on your molars with a toothbrush. Luckily, sealants can protect your teeth from decay by filling in those pits and grooves, keeping food and plaque out. Sealants may even stop very early stages of tooth decay from going on to form a cavity.
Usually, sealants are made of a special type of plastic, although sometimes other dental materials may be used. The sealant is applied in a thin coat to the chewing surfaces of your molars. It covers to deep pits and grooves that put you at risk of developing tooth decay.
Children and adults both can benefit from sealants. The earlier in life they are applied, the greater protection sealants offer, but it’s never too late to protect any chewing surface that is free from tooth decay with sealants. Sealants are a good investment for anyone, as they can save time and money down the road because you won’t need to treat tooth decay.
The dental professional who applies your sealant will need to start with a clean and dry surface. To make sure the sealant forms a strong bond with the tooth, the tooth’s chewing surface will be roughened with a special gel. Then, the gel is wiped off, and the surface of the tooth is dried once more. Finally, the sealant is applied to the tooth. When applied, sealants have the consistency of a gel or paste and then harden into a strong, protective coating. Some sealants require intense light to harden, so your dentist or dental hygienist may shine a light on the molar surface.
Sealants are very durable, and in most cases, hold up for several years. Everyone is different, however, and sometimes sealants need to be reapplied. Your dentist will check them at every visit.
Do sealants take the place of brushing and flossing or dental visits? Nothing takes the place of good oral care. Your daily routine should include brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing. Once a day, you should floss or clean between your teeth. This can be done with dental floss or another product made specifically to clean between the teeth, such as prethreaded flossers, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flossers, or wooden plaque removers. Cleaning between your teeth once a day helps remove plaque from between your teeth – another area your toothbrush can’t reach.
In addition, you should see your dentist on a regular basis for professional cleanings. Treatments such as topical fluoride, provided by your dentist when needed, also can be important in keeping your teeth cavity-free.
As for sealants, they are easy to apply and, along with good daily care and regular visits to your dentist, they can be part of a complete dental health plan.
Recommended by Dr.Garo Anjer and his team at the Confi Dental beauty care
Beregovaya st., 4, building 10