You know that brushing and flossing your teeth (and gums) is your most effective way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Another effective strategy is to apply dental sealants to the molars and premolars. Sealants are a relatively inexpensive and easy to apply–in one dental visit–protection for the biting surfaces of your back teeth.
Sealants are a plastic-resin material which is painted onto the biting surfaces by your dentist. Sealants create a protective coating over the pits and fissures of the tooth where tiny food particles and bacteria accumulate and causing tooth decay. After the sealant hardens it can last for up to ten years so you can see they are durable.
While the sealant protects the biting surfaces of the teeth, the sides and gaps between your teeth are still susceptible to the buildup of bacteria from plaque and tartar. Be sure to brush all of the surfaces of your teeth even with sealants. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Brush the sides and the tops just as you would a tooth without sealants.
Even though your teeth are protected by sealants, you can still get gum disease from the buildup of tartar near the gum line. To prevent this, continue to floss your teeth and gum line daily to loosen bacterial plaque and food particles. Another good strategy is to follow up with an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse away the food particles loosened by flossing, and to kill any lingering bacteria. Don’t be tempted to use mouthwash to remove the food particles near the gum line instead of flossing as the flossing action is the only way to break down the bacterial film.
If you have dental sealants, enjoy the extra protection while taking excellent care of your teeth and gums. If you don’t have dental sealants yet, and are considering them, we invite you to call our office at 440-884-9898 and see if dental sealants are right for you!