Dental sealants can help prevent cavities from occurring if your teeth are prone to decay. A dental sealant is a thin transparent or white plastic covering placed directly onto the teeth. This sealant preserves the cavity-prone areas of your teeth after application. This helps protect your enamel against the food debris, plaque, and bacteria that contribute to cavities.
Tooth decay and its effects
Tooth decay occurs when the enamel of a tooth is destroyed by the bacteria present in the mouth. Tooth decay, if left untreated, can develop into cavities, which can cause discomfort, infection, and even tooth loss. The oral cavity is home to many bacteria, some of which are beneficial, while others are not. The harmful ones are the main culprit.
Plaque, a sticky film formed by bacteria and the sugar present in food, produces acids that eat away at the enamel. If the plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar over time. This not only harms the teeth but can also cause gum disease.
The function of dental sealants
A dental sealant is an effective option to prevent cavities. The dentist will apply sealants to the teeth in the form of thin plastic coverings. Since they perform most of the chewing, the molars and premolars are the most common teeth that require sealants.
When patients visit the office for a dental sealant, the dental professional will bond it to the tooth to cover all the crevices and grooves of the teeth. This is what prevents plaque and acids from degrading teeth enamel. Food can quickly become lodged in these grooves and crevices, making cleaning these places more challenging.
A dental sealant helps prevent tooth decay inside the tooth, which can save money on root canals and other major operations. According to the American Dental Association, a dental sealant on permanent molars decreases the incidence of cavities by 80 percent.
Good oral hygiene
It is not enough to have dental sealants; patients also need to take certain steps at home to minimize the risk of cavities. The most essential thing is to practice proper dental hygiene. The following are basic oral hygiene routines to follow after sealing the tooth:
Brush the teeth twice a day, once after waking up and once before sleeping at night. Brushing should take two minutes each time, and it is advisable to pay special attention to the gums and tongue as well.
Floss regularly; food may become caught between the teeth, so flossing is crucial. Flossing can help get food out of those hard-to-reach places that a toothbrush cannot reach.
Use fluoride because it is one of the essential elements for dental health; it helps strengthen the teeth to prevent tooth decay.
Stay hydrated. Water is essential for general health, but it is also vital for oral health. Water can clean the mouth and preserve your teeth, especially after eating or drinking acidic substances.
It is advisable to see your dentist at least once every six months. However, this may vary based on your current health. If you are ready to get dental sealants, feel free to contact the dental office to schedule an appointment.
Request an appointment here: https://familydentistrypeoria.com or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.
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