To prevent cavities from taking over your smile, you will need to brush and floss your pearly whites every day. Still, there are times when you cannot consistently remove every bit of oral debris from the fissures and grooves of the back teeth, which are harder to reach with your toothbrush. Known as molars, these teeth are primarily used for chewing the bulk of your food. Unfortunately, their uneven surfaces make them susceptible to plaque and food particles to hide in.
Fortunately, our dentistss, Drs. Joseph Opack, David Opack, and Peter Stanton can help protect those teeth with the help of dental sealants. This is particularly helpful if you are prone to cavities. Dental sealants are a thin protective coating applied to the top of the molar’s surface to keep out cavities and can even help in the early stage of tooth decay by halting the decay and preventing the cavity for developing.
This is particularly beneficial when it comes to children. Dental sealants have a proven track record of diminishing the risk of tooth decay by almost 80% in the back teeth! Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control advises dental sealants for children and those susceptible to tooth decay. In fact, school-age children without sealants have nearly three times more cavities than their peers protected by sealants.
So, what do the sealants do? In a nutshell, they keep out the bits of food particles and that sticky bacterial film of bacteria and acids which create holes in teeth. These holes become cavities. Sealants are helpful for both children and adults, though the earlier they are used, the better.
Placing dental sealants is easy and painless. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned and dried, after which an acidic gel is applied which roughens up the tooth’s surface to allow the sealant material to be able to bond effectively to the tooth. Then, after rinsing off the gel, the tooth is once again dried before the sealant is applied to the grooves of the tooth. Finally, a blue light is used to harden the sealant onto the tooth.
And that is it! Sealants can last several years and are checked during routine cleanings and checkups, and sealants can be reapplied when necessary. To learn more about these tooth protectors, please call 651.488.5522 to schedule a visit with our St. Paul Family Dentistry team in St. Paul, Minnesota.