When most people think about tooth decay, they picture cavities and fillings. Before the decay reaches that level though, there are steps that you can take to protect your teeth and avoid future wear and tear. One such solution is the use of dental sealants, which act like shields to keep food from getting trapped between your teeth. In this discussion, we will take a closer look at how dental sealants work and how to care for dental sealants once you have them.
How Dental Sealants Work
Dental sealants are special solutions that apply over teeth that have a high risk of developing cavities. This could be a tooth with worn enamel or a tooth with a deep crevice that food could get trapped in. The sealant fills in the gaps and replaces the eroded enamel so the tooth has the best defense against tooth-decaying bacteria. Dental sealants can be applied to any teeth, but they are most commonly used on molars and other teeth toward the back of your mouth. These are the ones that are hardest to reach when brushing, and thus they are the most susceptible to tooth decay.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
With proper care, tooth sealants can last anywhere from 7-10 years before needing to be reapplied. This timeframe will partly depend on your personal habits and your oral hygiene. For instance, a person who eats a lot of crunchy, hard foods may experience cracking or chipping faster than someone who consumes mostly soft foods. The same can be said about someone who regularly brushes and flosses versus someone who only takes care of their teeth part of the time. Even with a good sealant on your teeth, bacteria can still wear away at your enamel if you let it sit for too long. All it takes is a good oral health routine to eliminate that problem and keep your sealants running strong.
Are Dental Sealants Right For Me?
Your dentist will help you determine if dental sealants are right for you. Here at Clinton Dental Center in Michigan, we conduct a thorough examination of your smile to see where weak areas are and what could be done to improve them. Something like a topical fluoride treatment may be better for your needs, or your tooth decay may be at a point where a composite filling would be a more appropriate solution. Schedule an appointment with our local family dentist, and we will be happy to assist you.