Taking care of your mouth is essential for maintaining your oral health. However, even if you brush and floss every day, it is still possible that cavities can form. This is because there are certain areas of your mouth that are just harder to clean than others. One of the most difficult to maintain areas of your teeth is the chewing surfaces of your molars. With deep crevices and grooves, these areas of your teeth can easily trap food particles, bacteria, and other debris that can quickly contribute to the formation of cavities. At Aesthetic Restorative & Implant Dentistry Northwest, we can help in the fight against cavities, protecting the health of your mouth, with sealants.
What are Sealants?
Cavities are a serious issue. They are caused by acid erosion. Acids are produced by plaque and bacteria, both of which naturally accumulate in your mouth. These acids, when left on your teeth for too long, begin to eat away at your tooth enamel, causing weak spots. Acids from certain types of foods and beverages can also contribute. While brushing and flossing helps to eliminate plaque and bacteria, as well as the acids they produce, your molars present a unique complication. The grooves and crevices on their chewing surfaces can be difficult to completely access with the bristles of your toothbrush, no matter how well you take care of your teeth.
Sealants can help. Sealants are a synthetic application that is made to be applied directly to the chewing surfaces of your molars. Made up of plastic, they cover over the deep grooves and crevices, effectively sealing out plaque, bacteria, and food particles. At the same time, the raised surface also makes your molars easier to keep clean, which aids in improving your overall oral health.
The Placement of Sealants
The process for getting sealants is very quick and completely painless. Before their application, any existing cavities must first be treated. Placing sealants takes a single appointment, and the process is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. First, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Next, an acid etch is used to create a rough texture, which helps to enhance the bond between the sealants and your teeth. The acid is washed off and your teeth dried. Finally, the sealant material is applied to your teeth and cured using a special light. Once cured, the sealants begin providing immediate protection.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Even though sealants are made from plastic, they can withstand a significant amount of daily use. Properly cared for, they can last for several years. If your sealants are damaged, they can easily be reapplied.
While sealants protect the chewing surfaces of your molars from decay and cavities, they only protect the areas where they are applied. Cavities can still develop in other areas of your teeth, including right around the edges of the sealants. For your sealants to provide you with the best protection, it is essential that you continue to brush and floss daily as well as have your teeth regularly cleaned and examined. Combined with proper oral care, your sealants can help you to keep your mouth happy and healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about sealants, and finding out if they are the right treatment for you, call Aesthetic Restorative & Implant Dentistry Northwest at (425) 697-9665 today.