Protect Your Teeth with Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are used to minimize tooth decay. To get into the importance of dental sealants, let’s first jump into the tooth decay process.
Your teeth are extremely hard. In fact, enamel (the outer layer of your teeth) is the hardest substance in the human body. In order for tooth decay to happen, that enamel needs to be softened and removed. The main culprit of softening your enamel is acid. Acid removes the minerals from the surface of your tooth and makes it softer. Once the surface of the tooth is softer, abrasion can remove it. This abrasion can be caused by a number of things including eating and brushing your teeth. That’s right, brushing your teeth can further the process of tooth decay if it is done incorrectly.
You might be wondering where the acid that is softening your enamel comes from. There are two main sources of this acid. The first is the acid in your food which goes to work immediately. The second source is a little bit more complicated. Your mouth is full of bacteria that feeds on sugar. When you consume sugar, the bacteria on your teeth eat it, and produce acid as a byproduct. This is how the tooth decay process begins.
How do Dental Sealants Help?
The bacteria on your teeth can be removed by brushing. Because people’s teeth have different shapes, there are often grooves, pits and fissures that can be more difficult to reach when brushing. These areas, as well as the areas in between your teeth are the prime spots for tooth decay to begin because it is harder to remove the bacteria.
So here is where dental sealants lend a hand. Dental sealants seal (hence the name) those pits, fissures and grooves and make the surface of your tooth smoother. This in-turn makes it easier to remove the bacteria, which, in-turn, minimizes the tooth decay in those areas.
How to Know if You are a Good Candidate for Sealants
Many people believe that dental sealants are for children. This is simply untrue. The reason that many people think that sealants are an aspect of kids dentistry is because kids can often qualify for dental sealants more easily, and because kids are not as good at brushing, so it provides an extra layer of protection.
The truth of the matter is that anyone can get a tooth sealed as long as there is not existing decay or an existing restoration. If you are an adult and are serious about staying cavity free, or minimizing the number of future cavities you get, dental sealants are a great way to accomplish that.
How Long do Dental Sealants Last?
One of the reasons that sealants are such a great option is because they can protect your teeth for a long time. Sealants can easily protect your teeth for up to ten years. Obviously this does not guarantee that you will not get tooth decay, but it will definitely help to minimize it.
If you have any questions about dental sealants and you live in or around Salt Lake City, give us a call at (801) 486-3887 today. Or browse our site to learn more about our dental practice in Salt Lake City.