If you take a good look at your teeth, you will notice that they don’t all look the same. That is because the different sets of teeth are designed to do different things. For example, your back teeth known as your molars have the job of chewing your food to make it easier for you to swallow it and digest it. In order to do this well, your molars have ridges which are called cusps. The cusps help to grind your food, but they also create fissures in your molars that give plaque and bacteria places to hide and to foster tooth decay.
Because these areas are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, your dentist may suggest the use of dental sealants. Sealants are thin layers of plastic that are painted directly onto your teeth that serve as barriers between your tooth enamel and the substances that damage your teeth. The earlier sealants are applied, the better. Usually, they are used for children as early as the age of six and until the age of 16, depending on when their adult molars erupt. However, if an adult is at a high risk for cavities, or has healthy molars and premolars, he or she may benefit from sealants as well.
Your dentist will clean and dry the tooth and then apply a mildly acidic solution which will leave small abrasions on the tooth. Those abrasions will help the sealant adhere to your tooth. After the solution is dry, your dentist will apply the sealant which can last up to ten years. It is important to remember that dental sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your molars. The sides of those teeth, along with your other teeth still need to be brushed twice a day, and you need to continue to floss daily. And don’t forget to see your dentist twice a year for your routine cleanings and exams.
If it is time for dental sealants for you or one of your children, our dentist. Dr. Tammeka Nickleberry will be happy to see you. If you would like to make an appointment at TLN Family Dental in Houston, Texas, call (713) 723-2600 today!