For your teeth to stay strong and healthy, it is important that you take proper care of them. Your teeth need to be brushed at least twice a day and flossed at least once a day. Along with your daily oral care routine, regular dental cleanings and exams, at least twice a year, are recommended. While these habits help you to maintain optimal oral health, it is still possible to develop cavities. One area prone to cavities is the chewing surfaces of the molars. This is because these surfaces have deep crevices that can trap food particles and oral bacteria. At Fairmount Dental Center, we can help you to protect your teeth from cavities with dental sealants.
How Teeth Get Cavities
When you eat or drink, food particles and sugars linger in your mouth. Oral bacteria, which naturally reside in your mouth, thrive on the leftover sugars. As they eat, they produce harmful acids, which, when left on the teeth too long, begin to erode the protective enamel. Brushing and flossing help to eliminate oral bacteria and remove acids. However, if you miss certain areas of your teeth, or the spaces are too hard to access, the acids are left to eat away at the enamel, leading to cavities. Bacteria hide in cavities and continue to destroy the tooth. The cavity grows larger, damaging and weakening the structure of the tooth. Cavities can penetrate into the inner layer of the tooth as well, which can lead to a serious, and painful, infection.
Dental sealants are an application that is used to help prevent the occurrence of cavities. The material used for sealants is made up of plastic and other dental materials. They are applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars, covering over the deep crevices that can trap food particles and bacteria.
The process for getting sealants is quick and easy, and completely pain-free. Before applying your sealants, we first clean your teeth, ensuring that there is nothing hiding in the crevices of your molars. If you have a cavity present before the application, it must first be treated and filled. After cleaning your teeth, we then paint the sealant material onto the teeth and use a special light to dry it.
Providing Additional Protection Against Cavities
Dental sealants are designed to provide your teeth with an added layer of protection against cavity formation. However, just because sealants are placed, that does not mean that oral hygiene practices can be skipped or ignored. While they protect the areas they cover, it is still possible to develop cavities in other areas of the teeth. It is still important to brush and floss your teeth daily as well as have your teeth regularly cleaned. Sealants are relatively strong and can withstand most normal daily wear. Properly cared for, they can last for several years. If your sealant is damaged or otherwise compromised, it can easily be reapplied.
Can Adults Get Sealants?
Many people think that sealants are designed just for children. They are a popular treatment for children, as children tend to be more prone to cavities. However, children are not the only ones who develop cavities. Anyone of any age may experience them. Sealants can be used to help patients of any age prevent cavities in their teeth.
Combined with your regular oral hygiene routine and visits to your Salem Dentist, dental sealants help to provide an additional layer of protection against cavities. If you are interested in learning more about sealants or finding out if sealants are right for you, call us at(503) 967-0877 today.