Each of your teeth is designed for a specific purpose. Your back teeth, known as your premolars and molars are designed to chew your food and prepare it for digestion. To do that effectively, your back teeth have grooves and ridges, also known as fissures, on the chewing surface. Those fissures allow the teeth to grind your food before you swallow it. However, those same fissures also make the perfect home for plaque and bacteria, which can cause tooth decay.
Dental sealants add a very thin layer of plastic to your back teeth, that keeps your enamel safe. To apply sealants, the dentist will clean and rinse your teeth before roughening the surfaces with an acidic solution. That solution is then washed away, and the dentist places the sealant on the tooth. Dental sealants can last for many years, although they may need to be reapplied.
For the most part, sealants are applied as soon as the molars and premolars come in, which gives the teeth maximum protection during a time when a person is most vulnerable to tooth decay. Teeth that are in good condition are the best candidates for sealants, although adults who are at a risk for dental caries, or cavities, may also benefit from sealants. Remember that that the sealants are only applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and will not replace brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.
If your child is ready for dental sealants, or if it is just time for you and your family to get cleanings and checkups, Dr. Samuel Lambrecht at Orangeburg Dental Associates will be happy to see you. If you live in the Orangeburg, South Carolina, area, call Orangeburg Dental Associates at 803-534-1020 to schedule an appointment.