Posted on 1/15/2020 by Robert Henshaw, DMD
|Even with good oral hygiene habits, food deposits can collect in the deep grooves of your molars where you do the most chewing. These areas are difficult to brush thoroughly and are often the site of significant plaque and bacterial buildup that can lead to decay, tooth loss, and dental restoration procedures.
In addition, sealants help protect against bacterial growth near your gumline that can increase your risk of developing gum disease, or periodontitis.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are thin coatings applied to your back molars that protect the chewing surfaces of your teeth from decay for many years. Once these shields are applied, they can protect against up to 80 percent of cavities for up to 2 years, and against 50 percent for up to 4 years longer. The best candidates for sealants are children and teenagers with a higher risk for cavities due to poor brushing habits. Although sealants are a thin coating, patients sometimes report being able to feel sealants with their tongue for a short time after the procedure,
How Can Sealants Prevent Gum Disease?
Because dental sealants protect the vulnerable areas of your teeth where bacteria is likely to grow, they protect against the advancement of decay deep into your teeth that can cause damage around your gumline. Once decay has reached your gum tissue, your risk of periodontitis increases considerably. In this way, dental sealants prevent gum disease in an indirect, but significant way.
Dental sealants are designed to protect the vulnerable chewing surfaces of molars, block out bacteria, and protect them from decay. By preventing decay from spreading to areas that will put your gums in danger, they have the added benefit of protecting against gum disease. For more information about getting sealants for your child's teeth, contact our office to schedule a visit.
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