Taking care of your teeth every day through brushing and flossing is essential for optimal oral health. However, even if you are thorough with your oral health care routine, cavities can still occur. One area where cavities are likely to happen is on the chewing surfaces of the molars. Your molars contain cusps. These cusps form deep crevices. Bacteria and food particles can become lodged inside, and it is often difficult for the bristles of your toothbrush to fully clean them out. As a result, the bacteria multiply and destroy the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities. At South Main Dental, we can help make your molars easier to maintain with dental sealants.
How Tooth Decay Occurs
Tooth decay occurs as a result of oral bacteria in your mouth. When you eat, food particles linger in your mouth. Oral bacteria, which live in your mouth naturally, feed on these food particles. As they eat, the bacteria produce harmful acids, which eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing small pits to form. Untreated, the cavities continue to grow as bacteria multiply and produce more acids. Eventually, the cavities can destroy your tooth, and cause serious infections.
Dental sealants are designed to protect the cavity prone crevices on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Sealants are a synthetic application, made up of plastic and other materials. Sealants cover the crevices on your molars, sealing out food and bacteria, and making your teeth much easier to maintain at home.
Applying Your Sealants
The process for getting your sealants is simple and painless and takes only a single visit. Before we apply the sealants, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. We apply and acidic gel on your teeth, which creates a rough surface. The rough surface makes it easier for the sealants to adhere to your teeth. The gel is cleaned off and your teeth dried again. Finally, we apply the sealant material and dry it with a specialized light.
How Long Can Sealants Last?
Sealants, despite being made from plastic, are relatively strong and can stand up to normal chewing and wear. They can easily last for several years. We check the condition of sealants at each dental visit, making sure that they are still functional. If there are ever any problems with the sealants, they can easily be reapplied.
Ensuring the Life of Your Sealants
While sealants help to protect the crevices under where they are applied, proper oral hygiene is still required to ensure their effectiveness. You should still continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day. This will help to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, therefore reducing your risk of developing cavities. Visiting the office for regular cleanings and exams is also essential. With cleanings, we can help to reach areas that you may not be able to, and exams will allow us to spot minor issues before they become serious.
Aren’t Sealants Just for Kids?
Sealants are a popular treatment for young children. This is because they help children to prevent cavities in their most susceptible years. However, adults can benefit from sealants as well. They make the perfect preventative treatment option for everyone.
Brushing and flossing can help to keep bacteria, and therefore cavities, at bay. Moreover, dental sealants can help to make the process easier. Contact South Main Dental for more information!