Teeth are naturally going to get cavities sooner or later. This is a natural process that cannot be stopped under normal circumstances. Even brushing your teeth and flossing will certainly help, but they are limited in their benefit. Special sealants are available from the dentist that can help prevent cavities from forming for years.
Why Teeth Develop Cavities
There are many different kinds of bacteria in your mouth that are normally there. Every person has them. Some of them are bad for your teeth because they produce acid whenever they come in contact with sugar and carbs. The acid, when left on your teeth, will slowly erode the enamel on your teeth, making it thinner and creating pits in it.
Eating sugary foods makes it worse since the bacteria will produce acid for 20 minutes after each sip or bite of a sugary compound. To make matters worse, many foods and sugary drinks also have their own acids in them. This speeds up the process of decay, making cavities sooner.
Why Teeth Need Sealing
A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. It is usually put on your molars for the purpose of protecting them from tooth decay. Some of the crevices in your teeth are not as easily cleaned by a toothbrush which makes them more susceptible to developing cavities. The sealant protects those hard-to-reach areas.
Another good reason to get your teeth sealed is that of the cost of dental procedures. Protecting your teeth for the next several years can save you money by preventing the need to get cavities filled, or root canals. The sealant may also prevent needing new crowns, too.
Sealants Are Especially Valuable for Children
Children have a high risk of getting cavities. They often have not developed good habits for keeping their teeth clean and often eat a lot of sugary foods. The best time for sealants is when they are around six years old and their first molars appear. Their second molar will usually appear when they are between 11 and 14 years old.
In some cases, a dentist may recommend that a sealant be used on baby teeth. This will likely be the case if the baby teeth have a lot of grooves and pits in them, making them hard to keep clean.
Adults Can Also Have Their Teeth Sealed
Even though it is especially recommended for children, adults can also get a sealant put on their teeth as well. It can only be put on teeth that are in good shape and have no decay in them. The dentist will clean your teeth before sealing them.
Add Fluoride, Too
For extra protection of your teeth, be sure to add some fluoride. Most cities add fluoride to their water systems. Fluoride is valuable because it strengthens the enamel on your teeth by helping to remineralize your teeth – adding minerals that are lost daily from the acid. Fluoride can be found in toothpaste and mouthwashes, but should not be given to children under three.
You and your children can get dental sealants applied to your teeth in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY, at the dental office of Rafael Lakhchakov, DDS. He offers complete dental services for the entire family, including cosmetic dentistry. Just call (718) 262-0720 for more information or to set up an appointment.