Protecting the teeth from cavities is not an easy job. No matter how well we brush our teeth, bacteria can be left behind in the hard-to-reach spots in the mouth, the rear surfaces of the teeth, and most importantly, the occlusal grooves. Occlusal grooves are the narrow crevices on the surface of the molars and premolars.
These grooves can house thousands of bacteria, though they look just wide enough to fit a single tooth bristle. Over time, the accumulation of food debris and microbes could put the tooth at risk of developing decay.
How can the occlusal grooves be protected?
Have you heard of dental sealants? They are acrylic or composite restorations that help in sealing off the occlusal grooves, thereby preventing the microbes from getting into them. This considerably reduces the chances of developing a cavity in the molars and premolars.
How are sealants applied?
Our dentist would screen the teeth to check for cavities and other infections. The sealant will be applied to the tooth after its surface is etched and dried. Once it is shaped accordingly, it will be hardened using a curing light.
Caring for the sealant
The sealant would work as long as it is providing the required sealing against microbes. The life of a sealant ranges anywhere between three to five years, but in certain cases, they do last longer. Hence, chewing foods that are too hard, opening bottle caps with the teeth, eating foods that are too hot or too cold, etc. should be avoided. This would ensure the sealant stays intact and in position. In case you notice anything wrong with the sealant, visit your dentist soon to get it diagnosed.
Call us at (262) 886-9440 to schedule an appointment to know more about sealants.