One of the most common places that tooth decay develops is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, the premolars and molars. When you run your tongue along the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, you can feel depressions and grooves. These indentations, called pits and fissures, help to grind food.
Regular brushing and cleaning between teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner help remove food particles and bacteria from the smooth surfaces of tooth enamel. However, it is difficult to keep the pits and fissures clean. That is because the brush bristles can’t reach into the grooves of your back teeth to remove plaque, bacteria and tiny particles of food.
What is the solution?
Because the grooves on the back of your teeth are hard to keep clean, your dentist may recommend dental sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to a chewing surface of a back tooth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by “dealing out” plaque and food.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are easy to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. First, the teeth that will be sealed are cleaned and prepared to accept the sealant. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to harden the sealant. Sealants are generally clear or white and cannot be seen when you smile or talk.
If you wish to check yours and/or your child’s teeth and/or require sealant treatment please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Rafia Mustafa for a consultation who would be happy to assist you in keeping yours and your child’s teeth clean and healthy.