Ann Arbor, MI
Brushing twice a day is an essential part of maintaining your oral hygiene. However, despite your best efforts, you may have difficulty reaching certain areas of your mouth. Your molars have cusps on the chewing surface, which creates deep crevices. Food particles and bacteria can gather in these spaces, and it can be difficult, if not impossible, for the bristles on your toothbrush to reach, leading to tooth decay. At Embree Dentistry, we can help you to maintain the health of your teeth with sealants.
What is Tooth Decay?After you eat, food particles linger. Throughout the day, these particles build up, as does plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the surface of your teeth. The bacteria that live in your mouth collect on the plaque and feed on the food particles. If you skip out on brushing and flossing, the plaque continues to build and the bacteria multiply. As they eat, the bacteria produce harmful acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing tooth decay. Untreated, decay destroys your teeth and can lead to serious oral health complications, including infections.
What Is Sealants?Sealants are a coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars. Consisting of plastic and other materials, they are designed to cover the deep crevices between the cusps. They act as a protective barrier, preventing food particles and bacteria from collecting in the crevices. Sealants make your molars much easier to keep clean at home.
Applying Your SealantsThe process for applying sealants is simple and pain-free, and it takes only one visit. First, we thoroughly clean and dry your teeth. We apply an acidic gel to your tooth, which creates a rough surface that allows the sealant material to adhere. We then clean off the gel and dry your teeth again. Finally, we apply the sealants and dry them with a blue light.
How Long Do Sealants Last?Despite the materials, sealants are relatively strong and can withstand normal wear and tear from daily chewing. They can easily last for several years. During your regular oral exams, we check the condition of your sealants, ensuring that they are still intact. If necessary, they can easily be reapplied.
Caring for Your SealantsEven though your sealants can help to prevent bacteria and food particles from becoming lodged in the crevices of your molars, this does not make them a substitute for proper oral care. For your sealants to be effective, you still need to brush at least twice a day and floss every day. This will help to keep down the bacteria in your mouth, as well as remove daily plaque buildup and lingering food particles. Along with at home care, getting regular dental cleanings and exams are a must.
Aren't Sealants for Kids?Sealants are a popular option for children, who are most vulnerable to cavities. However, they are not the only ones who can benefit. Sealants can also be an effective preventive tool for adults as well. Just about anyone can benefit from their application.
Sealants can be a great asset to helping you maintain a healthy mouth. Call Embree Dentistry today at (734) 973-0000 to find out if you can benefit from sealants.