If you take a few minutes to examine your back teeth, or molars and premolars; you should be able to see that they are different from the rest of your teeth in size and shape. You molars are designed to help you chew your food to get it ready for digestion. You will notice that the tops of your molars have grooves and ridges. Those parts of the tooth are very useful for grinding up your food, but they also give bacteria a place to breed, and plaque a place to develop.
Brushing will certainly help fight the buildup of bacteria and plaque, but dental sealants can give your back teeth an extra line of defense against tooth decay.
The process of applying dental sealants is easy. After the teeth have been cleaned and washed, the surfaces of the teeth are roughened on a microscopic level with a mild acidic solution. When the solution has been rinsed away, the thin liquid dental sealant, which is made of plastic is placed on the tooth and it is hardened. Your dentist will check your sealant during your regular visits, and you will still need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss before bed.
Sealants work best if they are applied right after they erupt from your child’s gums. However, they can be applied to an adult’s teeth, and can be used to keep a cavity from spreading.
If you are interested in dental sealants for your child, or even for yourself, our dentist, Dr. Amanda Lewis at Central Illinois Smiles in Decatur, Illinois, would be happy to see you. To make an appointment, give our office a call at 217.877.1742. We look forward to the chance to help your family have healthy and bright smiles!