Brushing and flossing your teeth make up the foundation of good oral health and effective dental hygiene. But plaque and tartar can be difficult to remove and you may not be able to reach all of the surfaces of your teeth effectively. In order to preserve your teeth, our dentists may suggest the application of dental sealants.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are thin layers of plastic that are applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They form a barrier between your tooth enamel and the bacteria and acids that can damage your teeth. The dentist will carefully clean and dry the tooth before applying a solution that will gently abrade the surface of your tooth. Then the dentist will apply the sealant to the tooth. When the sealant has cured, it can protect the tooth for up to ten years.
Where are sealants applied?
Your back teeth, which are known as your molars and premolars, have ridges and grooves which are called cusps. Those cusps allow you to chew and grind your food to make it easier to swallow and digest. But those same cusps can easily trap food debris and harbor plaque and bacteria. Because your toothbrush may not reach those areas, dental sealants are perfect for protecting those surfaces. Sealants are only applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars so you must continue to brush and floss.
Who should have dental sealants?
Sealants are most effective the sooner they are applied. For this reason, they are usually applied to the permanent molars of children between the ages of 6 and 12, as soon as those teeth come in. Adults who are cavity-prone or have healthy teeth that they would like to protect are also good candidates for sealants.
Schedule your appointment
If you are interested in dental sealants in La Jolla, California, for your child, yourself or any member of your family, please call Dougherty Dental at 858-454-2656 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul E. Dougherty or Dr. Scott O. Szotko.