Why are dental sealants needed?
As most of us know, teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Over time, this bacteria changes sugar into harmful acids that attack the hard layer of teeth called enamel.
Repeated attacks by plaque may break down the enamel and cause cavities, especially on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth since these surfaces have pits and fissures that trap plaque and bits of food. These areas are hard to keep clean, because toothbrush bristles cannot reach into them. Ultimately this is how tooth decay starts in the grooves and a cavity is formed.
Need help preventing cavities? Dental sealants could be an option for you!
How are dental sealants applied and how long will they last?
A sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The resin flows into the pits and fissures in the teeth, covering them fully so food and plaque cannot get in. This way, the dental sealant forms a strong barrier against acid and plaque attacks.
Sealants may last several years before they need to be replaced. Over time, sealants can become loose or worn. At North Boulder Dental Group, each time you come in for a dental checkup, we look at the sealants to make sure they are still intact.
While sealants are most often placed in children and teenagers, adults can benefit from sealants too.
Have more questions on pediatric dentistry and if sealants are right for your kids? Read more in our blog post on the topic here!