Dental sealants are used to help prevent the back teeth from trapping bacteria and developing damage or decay. They a made from a thin plastic material and painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Brushing and flossing are always the best ways to care for your teeth and help prevent cavities, but it can be challenging to clean certain parts of your teeth – especially the back chewing teeth known as the molars. Molars are rough and uneven, and they are a favorite place for food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.
Sealants can help protect this part of the mouth. They are a thin, protective coating that is bonded to the chewing surface of the back teeth. Sealants can reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. When the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth comes in contact with leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create cavities. After a sealant is applied, it protects the tooth and keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria from settling on your teeth. The smoother surface created by sealants also makes the teeth easier to clean.
The application of dental sealants is fast and painless and can usually be completed at the same time as your regular checkup. Before a sealant application, the teeth are cleaned and dried and coated with an etching gel that will help the sealants bond to the tooth’s surface. The sealant is then painted on the tooth in layers and allowed to dry. Once we’ve confirmed that your bite is normal, and the indentations have been sealed, the process is complete.
If you think you may benefit from a dental sealant, please give our dental office a call. You can reach us at (208) 219-7604 to schedule an appointment.