Prevent Decay with Dental Sealants
If you have teeth showing signs of cavities developing, dental sealants can help prevent them from forming. A dental sealant is usually a clear or white, thin plastic coating that is directly applied to the tooth. Once applied, this sealant protects the sensitive parts of your tooth. This helps protect your enamel from further decay caused by food, plaque, and bacteria.
It’s important to stop tooth decay in its tracks and keep bacteria at bay. Here’s what you need to know about tooth decay, cavities, and the benefits of sealants.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is when a tooth’s enamel is damaged because of excess bacteria in the mouth. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to cavities and can potentially cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. MedlinePlus explains that our mouths are full of bacteria, some of which are helpful, but some are not. The harmful bacteria play a role in tooth decay. These bacteria combine with the foods we eat to form plaque, a sticky film. Plaque uses sugar and other parts of what we eat and drink to make acids that eat away at our enamel. Over time, the plaque turns into tartar if not treated. Not only does this damage your teeth, but it can also lead to gum disease.
Signs of Cavities
If you have noticed pain when you eat or drink, or even sensitivity, it could be a cavity. When you get a cavity it means that part of your tooth is damaged. Cavities create small holes in your teeth. Mayo Clinic lists the most common signs that could signal you have a cavity:
- Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs with no obvious cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild-to-sharp pain when consuming food and drinks, especially sweet, hot, or cold items
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black, or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
What are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a good way to help you avoid cavities. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that Dr. Ania will put all over your tooth. The molars and premolars are the most common teeth that need to have sealants, since they are responsible for most of the chewing.
When you come in for a dental sealant, Dr. Ania will bond it to your tooth to seal away all the cracks and openings of the teeth. This is what stops plaque and acidity from eroding your tooth enamel. It’s in these cracks and openings that food can become easily stuck, and it can be more difficult to clean these areas. A dental sealant will prevent tooth decay from happening inside the tooth which can prevent root canals and other substantive procedures. According to the American Dental Association, a dental sealant on permanent molars reduces the risk of cavities by 80%.
Good Oral Hygiene Practices
Along with dental sealants, you can take steps at home that can help reduce your risk of cavities. The most important at-home step is to develop good oral hygiene habits. If you need to update your routine, follow these steps:
- Brush twice daily. You should be brushing once in the morning when you wake up and again before you go to bed. Your brushing should last for two minutes each time, and it’s important to focus on the gums and tongue, along with your teeth.
- Floss everyday. Food can get stuck in-between our teeth, which is why flossing is so important. Flossing can help remove food from those hard-to-reach areas that brushing can’t get.
- Use fluoride. Fluoride is one of the most important things for your dental health because it can help fight tooth decay.
- Stay hydrated. We all know how important water is for our overall health, but it’s important for our dental health too. Especially after eating or drinking acidic things, water can help rinse your mouth and protect your teeth.
- See Dr. Ania. A good rule of thumb is to see your dentist at least every six months, however that could be different depending on your current condition.
Prevent Tooth Decay with Dental Sealants from Dr. Ania
If you’re ready to take your dental health to the next step, make an appointment with Dr. Ania Mohelicki. Whether you need a dental sealant or just a good deep cleaning, Dr. Ania and her team are here to help you get the best smile possible. Call now: (303)-872-9940.