Everyone knows that brushing and flossing your teeth are the best ways to keep your smile bright and healthy. But, even the most dedicated tooth brushers might miss tiny nooks and crannies, especially in the molars, which you chew with. By design, molars are rough and uneven, which allows bacteria and leftover food to get stuck there. As an added safety net, many dentists recommend sealants for the molar teeth. So, what are sealants, and how can they help?
Sealants on the molar teeth help prevent food from getting lodged in that area and help prevent cavities. Sealants are a clear, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of molars. Plastic or other dental-safe materials make up the coating.
What Are Sealants?
It is easy to understand how dental sealants work if you think of them as tiny raincoats for molar teeth. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. When these bacteria meet leftover food particles, it can create nasty acids that have the potential to create holes in the teeth. The holes are cavities. With sealants, the acid is still present in the mouth, but it can’t create holes in the chewing surface of molars, just like the rain does not get you wet when you wear a raincoat.
How Are Sealants Applied?
The sealant procedure for the molar teeth is a simple one, and it is also completely painless. Before your dentist applies the sealants, they will clean and dry any teeth that will have sealants put on. To keep the teeth dry during the application, the dentist will often put cotton around the tooth to keep it dry.
Next, they will apply an acidic gel to the tooth to rough up the surface and create a strong bond between the sealant and the molar. A few seconds later, the dentist will rinse the gel away and dry the tooth again. Lastly, they’ll apply the sealant to the grooved part of the tooth and harden it with a special blue curing light. This procedure is done during an in-office appointment at Dental Center of Norcross.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Many parents learn about sealants from their child’s dentist, who might be their dentist too. Dentists in family dentistry practices like ours will tell you that adults can benefit from sealants too. The sooner a person gets sealants, the better they will protect their teeth against cavities.
Children can have their pre-molars sealed as soon as they break through the gum, which usually starts around 6 years old. Pre-molars usually fall about around 10 to 12 years of age. Once the permanent molars grow in, around age 12, a dentist should seal the molars again. By sealing young children’s teeth, you can help them protect their teeth during the cavity-prone ages of 6 to 14.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
The great thing about sealants is that the application usually lasts for several years. On average, a dental sealant can last about 10 years. Keep in mind that sealants do not replace the need for regular brushing, flossing, and dental exams. During your routine dental cleaning, the dentist will check your sealants to make sure they are doing their job. If a sealant needs replacement, the dentist will let you know and get you scheduled for reapplication.
Do not let cavities ruin your smile or give you a toothache. You can help prevent cavities from forming by protecting your teeth or your kids’ teeth with dental sealants in Norcross. Contact us at 770.300.0031 today, and we will answer all your questions. Get the great smile you have always want it and protect it today.