Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums is the first step in creating a beautiful smile. Dental sealants are another step in caring of your oral health.
Dental sealants protect the biting surfaces of molars and in the case of children, even premolars. Unlike your other teeth, molars have pits and fissures on the biting surfaces which allow tiny food particles and bacteria to hide, causing tooth decay. The sealant is a plastic-resin material which your dentist paints onto the tooth surface to seal those pits and fissures, keeping out the plaque-causing bacteria and food debris. Once the resin coating hardens it can last up to ten years with proper care and maintenance.
While dental sealants protect the biting surfaces of the teeth, they do not protect the sides. The gaps between teeth will still be susceptible to the buildup of bacteria which causes plaque and tartar to form. You will still need to brush your teeth on all exposed surfaces to remove the bacteria and particles of food. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to clean in and around the teeth as well as the gums. Use gentle circular motions to clean the sealant areas as well. They are durable, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them while brushing.
You may still be vulnerable to gum disease from the buildup of tartar on the gum line near sealed teeth, so be sure to continue flossing. Flossing in between the teeth and between the gums and gum line clears bacterial film. Follow up with an antiseptic mouthwash to wash away the loosened food particles and to kill any stray bacteria. Just don’t be tempted to replace your flossing routine by using mouthwash alone, because while it kills germs on the surface of plaque, it cannot penetrate the bacteria inside the microcosm film. Flossing actually breaks through the bacterial film and breaks down the colonies.
So enjoy the extra protection of dental sealants while taking care of your pearly whites and enjoy a lifetime of smiles!
If you have any questions about dental sealants please feel free to call us at 602.485.0505 and let us help you determine if they are right for you and your family.