The use of dental sealants to protect teeth from possible tooth decay has become more popular over the years for a good reason. The uneven surfaces of your teeth are difficult to keep clean, even with regular brushing and flossing. Sealants fill in and smooth out some of those uneven surfaces.
The Catch-22 of Tooth Structure
The grooves and fissures on the surfaces of your teeth serve a purpose. They hel p you chew your food properly, making it easier to swallow and digest. Unfortunately, those same grooves and fissures can also trap small particles of food and plaque, creating the perfect environment for gum disease or tooth decay. Sealants prevent those tiny particles from working their way into the tiny grooves or pits in your teeth.
The Benefits of Sealants
While brushing and flossing regularly are an effective start to good oral hygiene, sealants are also a great weapon in your arsenal. These thin coatings of plastic resin effectively seal the deep fissures and grooves on your teeth, preventing food debris, plaque and bacteria from invading the area. Molars are especially susceptible to plaque and other unsavory invaders because they have a large surface area and lots of pits and grooves that can harbor germs and debris. Some of these tiny cracks or pits can't be reached by your toothbrush, so even if you're the greatest tooth brusher of all time, you can't necessarily reach all areas of your teeth.
Enter dental sealants! The thin coating of a sealant coats the tooth surface; sealing shut any of the fissures and grooves so they can't harbor debris or bacteria. The surface of each treated tooth treated will also be smoother (but don't worry, you'll still be able to chew your food!). A smoother surface means your brushing and flossing efforts will be more effective.
Sealants have been around for since the 1950s, but didn't become popular until the 1970s. Most dentists now recommend dental sealants for children as an effective preventative. Let's face it, most children don't brush their teeth very well, and getting them to floss is an uphill battle. Applying sealants to their teeth, particularly molars, can prevent decay from setting in and result in fewer cavities. Even when there is some tooth decay, sealants can prevent additional problems from arising.
Easy, Painless Sealant Application
It's easy to for a dentist to apply sealants to your teeth. After etching or scouring the tooth to create a better surface for bonding, the sealant is brushed on. Warm light helps it dry more quickly; it only takes a few minutes. Most sealants last anywhere from five to ten years, giving you up to a decade of extra protection against future decay and possible complications.
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