Brushing and flossing every day are essential habits for preventing cavities and other serious oral health issues. However, even if you are diligent in your home care routine, cavities can still form. There are certain areas of your teeth that are harder to clean properly than others. One of the areas most vulnerable is the chewing surfaces of your molars.
These parts of your teeth have deep grooves that can capture food particles and bacteria. It can be difficult to completely clean out the grooves with your toothbrush. As a result, some debris gets left behind, greatly increasing your risk for cavities. At LakeView Dental Arts, we can help you to protect these vulnerable areas of your teeth with sealants.
The Formation of Cavities
Cavities are small pits that form on the surfaces of your teeth because of acid erosion. This erosion occurs when the acids produced by plaque and oral bacteria linger on the teeth too long. The acids wear away your protective enamel, eventually giving way to the formation of cavities.
What Are Sealants?
While brushing and flossing are essential in helping to remove plaque, bacteria, and their acids from the surfaces of your teeth, there are areas that are sometimes harder to reach than others. If you cannot properly access the deep crevices on the chewing surfaces of your molars, the acids are left to linger and eat away at the tooth enamel.
Sealants are an additional preventative measure that is designed to help protect the chewing surfaces of your molars. Made up of tooth-colored plastics, sealants are applied over the crevices, effectively filling up deep grooves in the teeth to prevent food particles and bacteria from pooling and getting trapped. At the same time, they aid in making the surfaces of your molars easier to keep clean.
I Thought Sealants Were for Kids?
Sealants are a popular preventive dental treatment for children, who tend to be more prone to cavities than adults. However, anyone of any age can develop cavities. Sealants can provide an additional line of defense for people of all ages to protect against common cavities.
The procedure for getting sealants is simple and straightforward. It is completely painless and can often be completed in less than 30 minutes. If there is already a cavity in your teeth, this will need to be treated first. The sealant procedure begins with a thorough cleaning of the teeth. Next, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of your molars. The acid creates a slightly rough texture that helps the sealant material to better adhere to your teeth. It is rinsed, and your teeth are dried. The sealant material is applied and then cured using a special light. Once cured, they begin providing immediate protection.
Care for Your Sealants
Even though sealants are made from plastic, they are still relatively strong and can withstand most normal daily wear and tear. While they protect the chewing surfaces of your molars, sealants only protect the areas where they are applied. It is still important to continue brushing and flossing regularly, as well as maintain regular dental visits. With good care and maintenance, sealants should last approximately two years, at which point they may need replacing.
Schedule Your Appointment
Sealants can help to provide you with an additional protective measure against the formation of cavities in the vulnerable areas of your teeth. Call LakeView Dental Arts today to learn more and find out if sealants are right for you at (865) 376-9687.