The most effective way to fight cavities is to floss and brush routinely, but sometimes it can be tough to reach the entire surface of your teeth.
This is especially true in the case of our molars, which reside in the deep depths of the mouth and act as a haven for leftover food and bacteria. Luckily, dentists offer sealants, which are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to your teeth where they hinder cavities and thwart early stages of decay.
Acids are produced when leftover food meets the bacteria in your mouth. These acids can make holes in your teeth, which we call cavities. Sealants work by stopping food from getting stuck in those hard-to-reach areas while simultaneously keeping acid and bacteria off the surface of your teeth.
Considering that most people get their first molars around six years of age, the earlier sealants are applied, the better. By sealing your molars at an early age, they could stay cavity-free right from the start. And though you may think of them as an expense, sealants are more of an investment. After all, having no cavities in your teeth means less money spent in the long-term.
The administration process for sealants is quite simple. First, the teeth on which the sealant will be placed are cleaned. After the surface is dry, an acidic gel will be applied, which forms a strong and durable bond between the sealant and the teeth it is being applied to. After a quick rinse-and-dry, the sealant is administered and, with a special blue light, hardened.
After sealants are applied, they can last numerous years before a dentist will have to replace them.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that sealants are not an alternative to brushing your teeth. They simply prevent cavities. In order to keep a healthy smile, you will still have to brush and floss regularly. However, if you find that flossing and brushing are not enough to keep your teeth cavity-free, be sure to ask Dr. Sulken or Dr. Kinn about sealants during your next visit.