Tooth decay is not always preventable with proper oral hygiene alone. Some patients have excessively grooved molars that easily trap food debris, making tooth decay a real possibility. Rather than succumbing to the risks of tooth decay on a regular basis, talk to the experts at Toomin & Bieber about dental sealants and how they can help you. This non-invasive procedure is a great way to seal out the risk of tooth decay, giving your teeth the extra defense it needs in addition to proper oral hygiene habits.
Who is a candidate for dental sealants?
Anyone can receive dental sealants, whether children or adults. We base our recommendations on the appearance of your teeth and how difficult it is to get them clean. If our dentists recommend dental sealants, it is not because you are not brushing correctly; it is simply because of the structure of your teeth. Excessive grooves are hard to get every piece of food debris out of, which means your teeth are at higher risk for decay as the food breaks down and begins to damage the enamel of your teeth. The more enamel that is eaten away from your tooth, the higher the risk of decay, pain, and subsequent oral health issues that you will experience. When you have dental sealants, the food is sealed out from those grooves, and brushing those back molars suddenly becomes much easier and more effective.
Why do adults get tooth decay?
It is true that when you think about tooth decay, you often think of kids – but adults are at risk too. Tooth decay does not discriminate when it comes to age. In fact, some adults are at higher risk for decay simply because of their hormonal changes, medication needs, or certain physical illnesses. Anytime your saliva production is altered, which can be the case with any of the above issues, you are at risk for tooth decay. If you combine this with excessively grooved molars, the problem is exacerbated. You can think of dental sealants as a way to preserve the health of your natural teeth, enabling you to keep them much longer, which negates the need to think about replacement teeth anytime soon.
Do you need to seal baby teeth?
Many parents wonder if it is necessary to seal baby teeth. We are here to tell you that it is very necessary. Many parents make the mistake of assuming that because permanent teeth will replace those baby teeth in the future, tooth decay in those teeth is not a concern. The truth is that your child’s baby teeth determine their future oral health. If those teeth become decayed and are prematurely lost, it can cause crowding problems and even cause difficulties with his speech and nutrition. Therefore, it is important to understand that baby teeth are very important to seal if they are at risk for decay!
What is the procedure?
Dental sealants are a non-invasive, simple procedure. You do not have to undergo any type of anesthesia or even deal with dental drills. Sealants are a liquid that our dentists paint on the surface of your molars. The liquid is permanently hardened through the use of a special UV light that is held in place for a few seconds. Once the process is complete, you have protected teeth for many years to come. It is that simple to give your teeth a better chance at fighting tooth decay!
Caring for dental sealants
After you receive dental sealants, it is very important to keep up your oral hygiene habits. Sealants are meant to work with you, not for you. If you do not properly brush and floss your teeth and keep your biannual dental appointments with our office, they will not work alone in sealing out decay. If food is left on your teeth, it will eventually eat away at the sealants and gain access to your enamel. Brushing your teeth just two minutes at a time, twice and day and flossing once is essential to your overall oral health.
When you come in for your biannual appointments, our dentists will check the integrity of the sealants, ensuring that they are still in good condition and are protecting your teeth. This is yet another reason why your appointments with us are a crucial component of your oral health care.
If you have any questions about dental sealants, if you are a good candidate, or about your oral health in general, give us a call at (818) 748-9998 to make an appointment today!