Every day our teeth face cavity-causing bacteria every minute. Sealants are placed on top of chewing services to help provide an extra layer of protection between bacteria & our tooth enamel.

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Dental Sealants

Every day our teeth face cavity-causing bacteria every minute. From the foods we eat to the oral hygiene we practice at home, our teeth need to be strong and ready to prevent any infections and cavities from forming. While the enamel on our teeth are strong, they're not impervious to damage. That's where dental sealants come in. Dental sealants are a type of plastic coating that's placed on top of the surface of permanent molars and premolars. Sealants are placed on top of chewing services to help provide an extra layer of protection between bacteria and our tooth enamel.

How Dental Sealants Help

If you use a mirror to look far into your mouth on your molars and premolars, you will notice that the surface of our teeth have grooves that often go inward toward the center of our teeth. These large grooves create small crevices that can easily trap plaque and bacteria, making it easy for cavities to form. While it can be difficult to see, these grooves can be tiny, which make it hard for the bristles of our toothbrush to get to and scrub away before tartar forms. Once plaque and tartar sit for too long, the acid will start to form cavities on the enamel of your teeth. If patients have particularly weak enamel, they can opt for fluoride rinses or fluoride treatments at the dentist office to try and remineralize and strengthen the enamel on their teeth. However, sometimes our teeth need an extra set of protective barriers. By using sealants, patients fill in the grooves and create a smooth surface that provides an extra layer of protection against bacteria.

Dental Sealants and Cavities

Even adult or children patients that have already developed a cavity can benefit from using dental sealants. Just because you have a filling on a tooth that's been used to fix an old cavity, doesn't mean the tooth is cavity-proof. Using sealants can safeguard against further damage to your tooth. Sealants are made of a clear material, so your dentist will still be able to detect if there are any dental issues that arise in the future.

How Long Will They Last?

Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied. In some cases, they have been known to last up to 10 years if you properly care for them. A nice aspect of dental sealants is they won't need to be removed for a new application, as they'll gradually wear away with time. As long as you don't use your teeth against non-food material, such as tearing open packaging or chewing ice, your dental sealants should last.

Keep in mind the dental sealants only protect the surface of your teeth, and not your entire tooth. Having them doesn't mean that you can refrain from other ways to keep your teeth cavity-free. Be sure to continue to use fluoride treatments whenever possible to help strengthen your entire tooth, not just the surface. You'll also want to continue proper at-home dental care such as brushing your teeth and flossing on a regular basis. As always, schedule your regular professional teeth cleanings and oral exams throughout the year.

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