Tooth decay is a common oral health problem, especially for kids and teens. When food particles and bacteria are left in the small crevices of the teeth, they can cause cavities in the enamel and dentin. Brushing and flossing are the best defense against cavities, but the back molars can be difficult to keep clean. One general dentistry option for extra protection against cavities is using a dental sealant on back molars. At Liberty Lake Smile Source, we offer dental sealants for cavity prevention at our dental center in Spokane Valley, WA.
What Are Dental Sealants?
The back molars are at a higher risk for tooth decay. The larger back teeth have plenty of nooks and crannies that can hide food debris, sugar and bacteria, and it is more difficult to clean the back areas of the mouth. Dental sealants are a thin film of plastic that is applied to the back molars to cover the surface. The sealant fills in the small crevices and puts a layer of plastic between bacteria/food and the tooth enamel. This reduces the chance of cavities, preventing damage to the teeth and the need for fillings or other dental treatments.
Dental sealants are typically used on permanent molars with kids and teens from age 6 and up. However, dental sealants can be used on baby teeth to help prevent cavities or for adults prone to tooth decay. The treatment is quick and cost-effective. A liquid plastic is painted onto the molar surfaces after the teeth are cleaned, and it is allowed to dry and harden on the teeth. The procedure can be performed right after a dental cleaning during a checkup – it only takes a few minutes to complete. The sealant lasts for several years, slowly wearing away. It is safely ingested, and the sealant can be replaced once it completely wears away.
If you or your child is susceptible to cavities and tooth decay, dental sealants are an affordable and effective option to add extra protection to your teeth. To learn more about teeth sealing for kids and adults, ask about this procedure at your next checkup. Contact us at Liberty Lake Smile Source to schedule your appointment.