If you take a look at your back teeth, you will notice that they come equipped with a set of ridges which are called cusps. It is the job of these cusps to crush and grind your food in order to make it easier for you to swallow and digest. But these cusps also create fissures in your teeth that give plaque, acid, and bacteria a place to hide and for cavities to develop. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will help, but the bristles may not reach into those fissures far enugh to reach everything.
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that your dentist applies to the back teeth. That coating provides a barrier of protection between your tooth enamel and those substances which can cause tooth decay. To apply a sealant, the dentist will first clean and dry the tooth before applying a mild acidic solution which will create small abrasions. Those abrasions will help the sealant adhere to the surface of the molars and premolars. They sealants can last for ten years, and the dentist will check them during each visit to make sure that the teeth do not need another application.
Dental sealants are most effective when they are applied as soon as the back teeth erupt. With that in mind, most candidates for dental sealants are children between the ages of six and sixteen, which are the ages in which the molars are coming in, and children are the most susceptible to cavities. But adults and older children with healthy molars, or who may be at a higher risk for cavities may benefit from dental sealants.
If your child another member of your family is ready for dental sealants give our office a call. To schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Narinder Mahal at Auburn Oaks Family Dentistry in Citrus Heights, California, call 916-722-4900. We look forward to helping you create a great smile!