Your teeth are a very important feature of your body. Of course, the teeth are regularly taken for granted, and they do much more than most people give them credit for. The teeth help you chew your food, they help you speak and enunciate your words properly, they offer a smile to others, support one another, support your jaw bone and your entire facial structure to give you a pleasant appearance. Protecting your teeth from cavities is a much more important mission that simply keeping a tooth healthy. If one tooth is unhealthy, the neighboring teeth are vulnerable; and the teeth adjacent to them become vulnerable until the entire mouth is put at risk. Protecting your smile is a much bigger job than most people realize.
Flossing the teeth daily and brushing the teeth at least twice a day are essential at-home dental care. Regular dental visits are also vital because they provide your dentist the opportunity to thoroughly clean your teeth and examine your entire mouth for any issues. Yet, there is another opportunity for provide your smile with a layer of protection to seal out harm. Dental sealants are an effective preventive measure that are used to protect the teeth from cavities and decay. Patients of all ages can benefit from this simple procedure because dental sealants do as their name implies: they “seal out” harm from the teeth.
Every time you eat, sugars, bacteria, and acids are left behind inside your mouth. The back teeth (the pre-molars and molars) have very rough surfaces for chewing and breaking down the foods that you eat. It is in these rough surfaces, consisting of deep grooves and pits, that food particles become trapped. Floss is not designed to clean these areas, and toothbrushes often cannot reach down into the deepest grooves to clean them effectively. Once sugars, bacteria, and acids become trapped in these pits, they begin to eat away at the tooth enamel, creating cavities and dental decay. To prevent this deterioration of the back teeth, dental sealants can be applied to provide a barrier against harmful substances entering the molars and pre-molars.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the back teeth in order to create a protective layer on top of the pre-molars and molars. These sealants seep down into the grooves and pits, and then the sealants are filled almost to the tops of the back teeth. Once the sealant materials are put in place, they are hardened with a special curing light that bonds the materials to the teeth. The procedure itself takes approximately 2-3 minutes per tooth, and there is absolutely no pain associated with dental sealant application.
Dental sealants are touted for their ability to offer protection to the back teeth that nothing else can. Dentists have widely offered dental sealants to children once their molars erupt inside their mouth. However, dental sealants offer the same protection to adults as they do to children. Adults who are cavity-prone, who have deeper grooves and pits in their molars, or who are simply concerned with their oral health and want to do whatever they can to protect their teeth are all great candidates for dental sealants.
As long as dental sealants remain in place, they offer protection against decay by simply not allowing harmful substances to enter the deep fissures of the back teeth. Dental sealants also provide an easy surface on the pre-molars and molars for brushing. Your dentist will examine the sealants at every appointment to ensure that they are still properly adhered to the teeth. Re-application is necessary approximately every 2-4 years for those who choose to utilize the protection that dental sealants offer.
Dental sealants are truly a simple, yet very effective, means of preventative dentistry. The cost associated with dental sealants is minimal to the costs of dental repair and restoration associated with decay, damage, and tooth loss. At Pure Dental Health, we are proud to offer this preventative measure to patients of all ages who wish to protect their smile. Contact us today to learn more about this simple procedure and how it can benefit you and your entire family.
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