Since your molars are located in the back of your mouth, and you probably don’t give much thought to chewing. Because of that, your chances are good that you don’t think about your molars very often. Unless of course one of those teeth develops a cavity, at which point the tooth will likely have your full attention. Keeping your molars and premolars clean is a little more difficult than cleaning the rest of your teeth. That’s because your back teeth come equipped with ridges called cusps, which are very good at helping you chew and grind your food to make it easier for you to swallow and digest. But those same cusps provide excellent hiding places for the food debris and plaque which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
To solve this problem, your dentist can protect those teeth with a dental sealant. A sealant is a thin layer of plastic applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth that provides a layer of protection for your tooth enamel. The process is very simple. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth and then apply an acidic solution to create tiny abrasions. Those abrasions will allow the sealant to adhere to the surface of the tooth. When the solution dries, the dentist will apply the sealant, and will cure it with a special light, or allow it cure on its own. Your sealant should last for around 10 years. Keep in mind that the sealant only protects the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars. Because of that, you will need to continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day. You should also see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and exams.
Normally, dental sealants are reserved for children ages 6-16, which is when their molars are erupting, and they are most prone to cavities. But adults with healthy back teeth, or who are at a higher risk of cavities can also benefit from sealants. If you are interested in dental sealants for your child or another member of your family, our dentist, Dr. Joseph Neeley will be happy to see you. To make an appointment at Barton Oaks Dental Group in Austin, Texas, call 512-327-6947 today!