Your teeth have their topography of hills and valleys in them, making them extremely prone to tooth decay in these tiny little crevices. Despite taking care to brush and floss daily, your teeth can still be vulnerable to tooth decay. Your dental fissures can be hard to keep clean, and plaque and bacteria can build up inside them. To help prevent tooth decay from forming in the fissures in your molars, we here at Bradshaw Family Dental like to paint them with a special type of material known as dental sealant.
What Are Dental Sealants And Are They It Worth It?
In a perfect world, a good oral hygiene regimen would be all you need to prevent tooth decay. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, which means that despite your best efforts, tooth decay can still form in the presence of brushing and flossing.
We recommend that all of our patients brush their teeth twice a day, for two minutes per session, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. However, the fissures in the back of your teeth can be even smaller than the bristles on your toothbrush. Despite your best effort, cavities can still start to form in these ridges.
Dental sealants are the answer to help to prevent tooth decay from forming in these fissures. Comprised of a plastic material, they are painted directly onto your back teeth. While we occasionally do apply sealants, our younger patients are often better candidates for this procedure, as they are more prone to tooth decay. Children who have sealants are three times less tooth decay than those without sealants!
How It Works
Getting sealants does not hurt at all. We start by carefully cleaning your teeth, then thoroughly drying them off. Next, we will gently etch them with an acidic gel to help create a surface that will make it easier for the sealant to adhere. The acid gel will remain on your teeth for a few seconds; then we will rinse it off again. Once again, we will dry your teeth; then we will paint them with the dental sealant. Finally, we will cure the sealant with a specific type of ultraviolet light to help it harden.
Dental sealants are a fantastic investment in your oral health. They are tooth-colored, so they are not noticeable, but their benefits are long-lasting. If you continue to take good care of your teeth, they can last between five to ten years. Eventually, they will wear away, but we can always place them again in the future. Getting sealants are incredibly safe and a routine procedure, making it an excellent option for many of our patients. Just remember that dental sealants are no replacement for taking good care of your teeth; you do still need to brush and floss regularly, even with sealants.
If you suspect that you may have early stages of tooth decay, you are interested in learning more about how dental sealants can help protect your teeth, or you are ready to schedule your appointment at our office here at Bradshaw Family Dental, then please give us a call today at (928) 277-0076!
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