Your back teeth have a special job to do. Your back teeth, also known as your molars and premolars chew and grind your food to make it easier to swallow and digest. Those teeth come equipped with ridges called cusps that help you chew. However, those cusps also create grooves in your teeth that give plaque, bacteria, and food debris places to hide and contribute to tooth decay. Your toothbrush cannot reach into those places very effectively, and your molars and premolars need some extra protection.
One solution that your dentist can offer is dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin layers of plastic that protect the enamel of your back teeth from the substances that can cause cavities. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth and then apply a mildly acidic solution that will create small abrasions on the tooth. Those abrasions will help the sealant to adhere to your tooth. After applying the sealant, the dentist will cure it with a special light, or allow it to cure on its own. Your dental sealant should last around ten years. You will need to continue to brush and floss your teeth, and see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. Your sealants protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, but the rest of the tooth will still be vulnerable to cavities. Sealants are most effective when applied soon after the back teeth erupt. Because of that, they are most often used for children between the ages of six and sixteen, which is also when they are prone to developing cavities. However, an adult whose back teeth are in good shape, or who is at a heightened risk of cavities may also benefit from dental sealants.
If you are thinking about getting dental sealants for yourself or your children, our dentist, Dr. Deepak Bhagat will be happy to see you. To make an appointment at Smile Savers in Woodside, New York, call 718-956-8400 today.