The next time that you brush your teeth, why not “pop the hood” on your mouth and take a good look inside? If you look to the back, you will see your molars and your premolars. These back teeth have the job of chewing your food and making it easier for you to swallow and digest. To do that effectively, they have ridges which are called cusps. Those cusps are great at grinding your food, but they also create spaces for plaque and food particles to hide and create cavities. Those spaces are very hard to reach with a toothbrush, and mouthwash may not remove all of the food particles.
Dental sealants are very thin layers of plastic which are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Once they are in place, they form a barrier between your tooth enamel and those substances that can cause cavities. To apply a sealant, the dentist will clean and dry the tooth, and then use a mild acidic solution to create slight abrasions on the tooth, which will help the sealant adhere to the tooth. After the sealant is applied, it will be cured under a special light or allowed to cure on its own. Your sealant can last ten years. You will still need to brush and floss your teeth, since the sealant only protects the chewing surface.
Sealants are usually reserved for children ages 6 to 16, which is the time when they are the most cavity-prone and when their permanent molars are coming in. But in some cases, sealants may benefit adults as well. If you are interested in dental sealants for your child or another member of your family, our dentist, Dr. Cindy Wassif would love to see you. To make an appointment at Wassif Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Middle River, Maryland, call 410-687-1162 today.