Each of your teeth has an important job to do. In the case of your back teeth, also known as your premolars and molars, their job is to chew your food to make it easier for your body to digest. In order to accomplish this effectively, your back teeth come equipped with fissures, or grooves and ridges on the chewing surfaces to help grind up your food.
These fissures are perfect for chewing, but they also make great hiding spaces for bacteria and plaque, which can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. To combat this, the dentist can apply a dental sealant to those teeth. A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic that protects the chewing surfaces of the teeth from bacteria, plaque and acids. Dental sealants work best when they are applied when the molars and premolars come in, so sealants are usually applied to a child’s teeth at that time. However, adults and older children may also get sealants if their back teeth are in good shape or if a sealant is needed to stop the spread of tooth decay.
After the teeth have been cleaned in the dentist’s office, they will be washed with water. After they have dried, the dentist will apply an acidic solution that will etch the teeth to help the sealant adhere to the tooth’s surface. Then the sealant will be applied and hardened.
Even though the dental sealants will protect your back teeth for many years, you will still need to brush twice a day, floss before bed, and see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. The dental sealants are only applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth.
If you would like to learn more about how dental sealants can protect your child’s back teeth, make an appointment to come in and see our dentist, Dr. Gayle Fletcher at Patient-First Dental Care in Conroe, Texas, by calling 936-856-9969.