Each of your teeth has a purpose, which is why they are different shapes and are located in different parts of your mouth. Obviously, your molars and premolars are shaped very differently from the rest of your teeth, since they have the tough job of grinding up your food so that you can swallow it and your body can digest it. In order to do that your back teeth have ridges and grooves that are also known as cusps. These cusps help your molars handle your food, but they also trap food particles and harbor bacteria and plaque that can cause tooth decay. No matter how well you brush, you may not be able to reach between the cusps to clean them.
Our dentist, Dr. Steven Rodriguez may suggest using dental sealants to protect your molars. Dental sealants are layers of plastic that are applied to your molars and premolars to create a barrier between your teeth and the substances that can damage them. First, the dentist will clean and dry the tooth, before applying a mildly acidic solution that will roughen the tooth to help the sealant adhere to it. The dentist will apply the sealant and then cure it with a special light, or allow it to dry on its own. The sealant will be effective for around ten years.
Sealants work best the sooner they are applied, and they are often applied to children’s molars as soon as they erupt. However, adults who have healthy back teeth, or who are particularly cavity prone may find sealants helpful. Remember that sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, so having them placed does not mean that you get to stop brushing and flossing!
If you are concerned about cavities in yourself or your child, dental sealants may help. If you would like to make an appointment for dental sealants in Lansing, Michigan, call Healthy Smiles Dental Care® of Lansing at 517-333-3160 today.