Brushing and flossing every day are essential habits for helping to maintain the health of your teeth. So, too, are regular dental cleanings and exams. However, even those who try to take the best possible care of their mouths may still be faced with issues. The chewing surfaces of your molars have deep grooves and crevices that can easily trap food particles and bacteria. These areas can be difficult to access with the bristles of your toothbrush, making a thorough cleaning difficult. As a result, even though you brush twice a day, you can still develop a cavity. At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, we can help to prevent cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars with dental sealants.
How Do You Get Cavities in the First Place?
Cavities are small pits that form as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when the acids produced by plaque and oral bacteria linger on the surfaces of the teeth. The acids erode the enamel, weakening this protective outer layer. Brushing and flossing are essential for eliminating plaque, bacteria, and acids from your teeth. However, if you cannot properly access them, they stick around. The chewing surfaces of your molars present a problem because of the deep grooves they contain. Without treatment, cavities only continue to grow larger and can lead to serious issues, including severe tooth damage and infections.
Additional Protection for At-Risk Areas
Dental sealants are a quick, simple, pain-free treatment designed to provide additional protection for the chewing surfaces of your molars. Made up of plastic and other materials, they are meant to cover over the deep grooves of your teeth, effectively blocking food particles and bacteria from getting trapped. They also work to make your molars easier to clean.
Before applying your dental sealants, any existing cavities must be treated first. We thoroughly clean your teeth, removing all bacteria and other debris from their crevices. Next, an acid etch is applied to the teeth, which works to roughen the surfaces of the teeth where sealants are to be applied. This rough texture will help to ensure a stronger bond between the sealant material and your teeth. The acid is washed away and the teeth dried. We then paint the dental sealants on to your molars and dry them using a specialized UV light. As soon as they are dried, they immediately begin providing protection.
Who Gets Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are commonly thought to be a treatment for children. While children do tend to be more prone to cavities, anyone can be faced with tooth decay regardless of age. If you are more prone to cavities and want additional protection, dental sealants can be an effective preventative treatment.
Making Your Dental Sealants Last
While dental sealants are made up of plastic, they are still relatively strong and can withstand normal daily use. Properly cared for, they can last for several years. Should your sealants get damaged in any way, they can be easily replaced.
Dental sealants may protect the chewing surfaces of your molars, but they are only an additional protective measure. They are not a substitute for good oral hygiene. It is important to continue brushing and flossing daily and have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined twice a year. Dental sealants only protect the areas to which they are applied. Cavities can still develop on other surfaces of the teeth, as well as the areas around the edges of the sealants. Maintaining your oral hygiene routine is essential for keeping your teeth, and your mouth, healthy.
Combined with regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, sealants can help to provide an additional layer of protection against cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars. Call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC today to schedule your appointment and find out if dental sealants are right for you at (860) 331-8748.