Cavities form when plaque and food debris remain for long periods of time on the tooth surfaces. Harmful bacteria live in these substances and produce acids that attack the teeth enamel. Children are especially vulnerable to cavities because their dental hygiene habits are still developing and they may not be cleaning their teeth as thoroughly as they should. The back teeth can be especially hard to clean (even for adults); this is where 90% of cavities form in children’s teeth. To help protect against cavities in Houston, TX, Espili Dental offers dental sealant treatment.
Sealants are thin coatings that are painted onto the teeth. They are white, clear, or slightly tinted and usually not noticeable. The coatings fill in and harden over the deep grooves of the teeth, making it harder for bacteria to collect there and also making those surfaces easier to clean. Sealants can be thought of as a protective shield between the teeth and any harmful substances that could damage them. Applying dental sealants requires a quick, painless procedure.
The first molars usually arrive at around age 6, the second molars at around age 12. The best time to apply sealants is as the permanent molars make their appearance.
Dental sealants can prevent 80% of cavities for up to two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can be reapplied after that time to continue protecting the teeth.
Cavities are fairly easy to treat with dental fillings. However, it’s always better to prevent a problem than to treat it, so it’s advisable to have a tooth treated with dental sealants and help it remain in good health rather than having it filled after a cavity has affected it.
It should be noted that dental sealants do not make the teeth completely immune to cavities – they simply reduce the chances of cavities developing. Teeth that are treated with dental sealants will still need to be brushed and flossed properly every day. A fluoride toothpaste is recommended and sweets and sugary beverages should be avoided. To learn more about dental sealants in Houston, TX, contact Espili Dental today.