Cavities are among the primary dental concerns around the world. Anyone, old or young, can get cavities. Cavities can result from poor dental hygiene and/or high consumption of acidic and sugary foods and beverages. In our mouths, there are bacteria that feed on the sugars and carbohydrates that we eat. If these bacteria overgrow, they release harmful chemicals which erode the tooth’s enamel, causing cavities. Acidic products such as apple cider vinegar also weaken and erode the tooth’s enamel, increasing the risk of cavities.
Untreated cavities can encourage the spread of the bacterial infection into the tooth’s innermost part, called the pulp. The tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues are infected or inflamed when this happens. Significant discomfort and complications can occur when this happens. If not addressed timely, the infection can spread to the tooth’s roots, eventually causing tooth loss. The infection can further spread to neighboring structures such as teeth, cheeks, gums, and jawbone.
Fortunately, you can prevent cavities and other related dental issues by applying dental sealants. While someone might convince you that thorough brushing and flossing is effective, it might not, especially among children. For instance, even with the most strenuous brushing and flossing, food particles and debris can still get trapped, especially in the dark places of the mouth. A sealant is a thin coating applied on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, usually the molars and premolars, to reduce the vulnerability to cavities.
Your back teeth usually have tiny grooves or pits where food particles can easily get trapped. Accumulation of this debris encourages plaque and bacteria build-up in the mouth, eventually leading to cavities and gum disease. Applying sealants on the chewing surfaces of these teeth smoothens them, making it nearly impossible for food particles to get trapped. Similarly, the smooth surfaces are easier to brush, significantly reducing the chance of plaque and bacteria build-up in these areas.
Generally, applying sealants is easy, painless, and straightforward. A hygienist or dentist can apply them. Applying a single sealant only takes a few minutes. The dental sealants procedure typically involves:
Please note that sealants aren’t an alternative to daily dental hygiene. On the contrary, sealants help to maximize your protection against cavities. If you neglect your dental hygiene, you can quickly develop cavities on the unsealed teeth and the other parts of the sealed teeth.
When well applied and maintained, sealants can protect your teeth against cavities for up to 10 years. Please note that if a sealant is chipped or damaged in any way, it can have adverse effects. For instance, food or drinks particles can get trapped inside the sealant, eventually causing cavities and decay.
For this reason, it’s essential to have your sealants checked for damages regularly. If necessary, the dentist can always reapply them for maximum protection. Use these tips to care for your sealed teeth:
Dental sealants treatment works in two significant ways. They act as a barrier against plaque and bacteria buildup up, thereby preventing the chance of cavities or decay developing. And second, sealants smooth the back teeth chewing surfaces, making cleaning easier. The risk of developing cavities is reduced significantly.
For more information about dental sealants practice, contact Belknap Dental Associates.