Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars).
A sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of back teeth. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health.
HOW DO SEALANTS WORK?
Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.
WHO CAN GET SEALANTS?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. The first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.
HOW ARE SEALANTS APPLIED?
It’s a quick and painless process. The dentist will clean and dry the tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughens up the tooth surface so a strong bond will form between thetooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, the dentist will rinse off the gel and dry thetooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of the tooth. The dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you. Ask your dentist if sealants are right for you and your family!
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (719) 473-5122 if you have any questions about sealants.