Regular brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep teeth clean and prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to reach every nook and cranny of your teeth, especially on your molars. These back teeth are rough, uneven and a common place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.
One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay on your back teeth is the application of dental sealants. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that is made from plastic or other dental materials. They are painted on the chewing surface of your back teeth smoothing out the surface. This creates a barrier from bacteria and makes them easier to keep clean.
While they don’t substitute for brushing and flossing, when used along with good oral hygiene habits, they can keep cavities from forming and stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity. Sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80% in molars. Sealants are most commonly used for children, but they are also effective for adults who are at a high risk of decay.
The application of sealants is quick and painless. The first step of the process is to clean and dry the tooth. Next, an acidic solution is applied to the surface of the tooth to roughen the surface of the tooth so the sealant will stick well. After the tooth is rinsed and dried, the sealant is painted into the grooves and on the chewing surfaces of the tooth. Finally, the sealant is allowed to dry, or a special light is used to bond the sealant to the tooth.
To learn more about dental sealants and other preventive treatments, call Birchwood Dental in Meridian at (208) 228-5499. We proudly serve patients throughout the Treasure Valley.