Preventative Family Dentistry: Dental Sealants
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of your back teeth in order to help prevent tooth decay. The liquid sealant quickly bonds to the surface of your tooth, creating a barrier between the bacteria in your mouth and your tooth. While the bristles of your toothbrush are long enough to reach the grooves of most of your teeth, the grooves of your molars are so deep it can be difficult for regular brushing to adequately clean them. Consistent, poor cleaning (through no fault of your own) would then lead to a buildup of plaque and tarter within these deep grooves, eventually leading to cavities.
How Do Cavities Up Occur?
Tooth decay is caused by the erosion of minerals in the teeth. The acids produced as bacteria ferments food in your mouth wear away at your teeth’s enamel, which is its outer, protective layer. Our bodies have natural mechanisms to fight this erosion. Fluoride present within the mouth is used to rebuild the enamel. Additionally, our saliva restores enamel. However, our bodies natural responses are not enough to combat the erosion caused by bacteria.
How do Dental Sealants Help?
Dental sealants, then, stand as one part of a preventative treatment approach prevalent within family dentistry. The idea is that early intervention, especially for common problems, is a cheaper, faster, and overall more efficient solution to your oral ailments. By getting sealants bonded to the deep grooves of your molars, you diminish greatly the chances of tooth decay in the most high-risk area of your mouth, saving you time and money down the road.