Dental sealants are a very important preventative measure that can help children and adults reduce their risk of developing cavities.
Cavities form when bacteria congregates on a tooth and is not removed. The bacteria burrow through the protective mineral layers of the tooth before attacking the dentin.
To prevent cavities from occurring, regular home oral hygiene routines as well as biyearly visits to your Houston dentist for a checkup rid the mouth and teeth of this bacteria and plaque buildup.
Unfortunately, there are some scenarios where home care isn’t enough to remove the bacteria. Some teeth, molars especially, have rough surfaces that are difficult to clean with a toothbrush.
These areas can really only be cleansed by a professional cleaning at your Houston dentist.
The good news is that dental sealants can help make home care a more viable option.
How Dental Sealants Work
Dental sealants are applied with a resin in the grooves and gullies of teeth. Usually they are only applied to the molars, as these teeth have a very rough surface for grinding food.
Sealants can be applied to other teeth that have grooves on them which have been caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or from damaging a tooth by eating very hard foods.
The application of dental sealants is completely painless, so there’s no need for any pain medication.
The resin of the sealant fills in the grooves in the teeth, giving them a nice, smooth layer of durable material once the resin hardens.
After the resin has hardened, the grooves will be filled and the surface of the tooth will be much smoother, making it much, much easier to brush and clean.
Most often, dental sealants are administered to children shortly after their molars come in, but they will wear away within five years.
Dental sealants can be reapplied, and it’s a good idea to do so, even into adulthood, as these sealants only make it easier to take care of your oral health and prevent cavities from forming in difficult to clean spots.