Teeth have valleys and hill tops. The valleys catch food, usually refined carbohydrates which feed the decay causing bacteria. The vast majority of decay is in the valley and not on the hill top.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Plastic sealants, flow into the valleys, adhere to the tooth structure and fill in the valleys. The area is now too slick to catch food which prevents decay.
The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.
Key Ingredients In Tooth Decay And Maintaining a Healthy Mouth Are:
- brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or another interdental cleaner
- eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks
- visiting your dentist regularly
Warning: Sealants have to be done correctly or they will be an even worse food trap than the valleys.