Prevent Cavities and Protect Vulnerable Teeth
Regular brushing and flossing can’t completely eliminate food and plaque from all of the depressions and grooves, especially on molars. The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, and children are especially vulnerable to the tooth decay that can result from trapped food particles and plaque that accumulates on their chewing teeth. Sealants offer an easy solution and can protect your child’s teeth for years.
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities and protect enamel from plaque and acids. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract all of the food and plaque.
Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. Easy for your dentist to apply, the sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed.
During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth are:
- Brushing twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or another interdental cleaner
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting sugary foods and beverages
- Visiting your dentist regularly
Ask whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program by calling us at 703-442-0442.