Dental sealants are placed on teeth to protect them and help prevent tooth decay. Sealants are used to fill up the cracks and gaps on your teeth. When placed on your teeth they harden and become smooth, making it easy to clean your teeth.
The back of your teeth can have small cracks, known as fissures. Fissures make it easy for food to get stuck and harder to clean, which can lead to tooth decay. These grooves can be too small for the bristles of toothbrushes to get in to clean.
Sealants were developed in the 1960s and have been widely used in oral treatments. Sealants are thin plastic coatings that cover the surface of back teeth. They help prevent tooth decay by creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Causes of tooth decay
Bacteria in your mouth can cause tooth decay. Bacteria thrive on sugars in the food and drinks you consume. It produces acid, which damages the tooth enamel. Over time, this damage leads to cavities.
Benefits of dental sealants
Sealants are used to fill up the small fissures (grooves) in your back teeth, keeping food and bacteria out and preventing decay.
- There are several benefits to using sealants.
- They are clear and natural looking.
- Sealants fill the small pockets in the teeth to prevent decay.
- They are painless.
- Application takes only a few minutes.
- Sealants are safe to apply.
Prevent tooth decay
Most decay starts in the narrow pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of your molars. Permanent molars have the highest risk of tooth decay and can benefit the most from dental sealants. There are some things you can do to help prevent tooth decay. They include:
- Brushing your teeth
- Minimizing sugary foods and drinks
- Drinking plenty of water
Sealants are put on by a dentist and can last from two to seven years, maybe even more. They require regular dental checkups. If you think you can benefit from dental sealants, contact the office of Sedation and Implant Dentistry Irvine to make an appointment.