Oral care is integral for protecting the health of your mouth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit the dentist at least twice a year for optimal oral health. However, even if you take the necessary steps to ensure the health of your mouth, it is still possible to develop cavities. The chewing surfaces of your molars are one of the most vulnerable areas. This is because the chewing surfaces of your molars have deep grooves and crevices that can easily trap food particles and bacteria. These areas are also more difficult to keep clean. At Todd Rogers Dental, we can help you to further protect the health of your mouth with sealants.
How Do Cavities Form?
Cavities are a result of tooth decay. When oral bacteria feast on lingering sugars and other food particles, they produce harmful acids. Typically, brushing and flossing help to eliminate oral bacteria and get rid of the acids before they can do any harm. However, if there is a hard to reach space on your tooth (such as the crevices on your molars), the bacteria continue to multiply, and the acids have time to eat away at your enamel. Small pits, or cavities, begin to form. Bacteria move into the cavities and continue their destruction. The longer cavities go untreated, the worse they become, and can even develop into the inner layer of the affected tooth, leading to a serious infection.
What are Sealants?
Sealants are a treatment designed to protect the chewing surfaces of your molars from cavities by covering over the deep crevices and grooves. The application is synthetic, made up of plastic and other materials. When applied, they effectively keep plaque, oral bacteria, and other debris from collecting in the crevices, protecting your teeth from cavities.
How are Sealants Applied?
The procedure for applying sealants is simple, fast, and completely pain-free. Not even a local anesthetic is needed. First, we must treat any cavities that may already be there. We then clean and dry the teeth. A lightly acidic gel is applied to each tooth that will be treated. The gel creates a rough texture on your enamel, which will help the sealant material to adhere better. The gel is washed off, and the teeth dried again. We then apply the sealant material and cure (dry) it with a special light.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants, while made from plastic, are fairly strong, and withstand most normal daily wear. They can last for several years. If they do become damaged, however, they can be easily reapplied.
It is important to know that even though sealants are effective at protecting the chewing surfaces of your molars, they are no substitute for proper oral care. Sealants only protect where they are applied. You still need to continue brushing and flossing your teeth as normal and attend regular dental visits. These habits help to eliminate plaque and oral bacteria, preventing not only cavities but gum disease and other oral health issues as well.
Aren’t Sealants for Kids Teeth?
Sealants are a popular treatment for children, who are more at risk for developing cavities than adults. Children are not the only ones at risk for developing cavities, however. Adults, even those who brush and floss regularly, can develop cavities as well. Sealants are an effective treatment for anyone of any age.
While brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings and exams are key elements for maintaining your oral health; it is still possible for cavities to form. If you are interested in learning more about sealants, and if they are right for you, call Todd Rogers Dental today at (719) 357-4425.