Did you know that by the age of 39, almost 88 percent of the population has had at least one cavity? Cavities are prevalent in our society and can be caused by any number of factors including: poor diet, poor oral hygiene, genetics and medicines. However, many people do not realize that there are several different types of cavities. While there are about three different kinds of cavities, we will focus on one in particular: pit and fissure decay. Fortunately, this type of cavity is easily prevented by protective sealants. At the Max Dental Center we offer protective sealants for patients of all ages.
What is Pit and Fissure Decay?
This type of cavity forms on the back molars specifically. Back molars have pits and grooves on the crown of the tooth that easily trap food. This makes it easier for cavities to form. Usually children and teenagers are more prone to getting this type of cavity because of poor brushing habits and the molars being harder to reach than other teeth.
What are Protective Sealants?
Protective sealants are thin layers of clear or tooth colored plastic that is painted onto the molar. This plastic acts as a layer of protection against bacteria and decay. Sealants make it impossible for food to get trapped in the grooves of a molar and develop into a cavity. While sealants can be placed in patients of all ages, we always suggest that children have sealants placed as soon as the permanent molars come in. This usually happens at 5 or 6 years of age.
Are protective sealants painful?
The process of placing a protective sealant is completely painless. The tooth receiving the sealant is cleaned and dried. Then, our dentist will paint on the liquid plastic directly onto the tooth. A special light or laser may be used to harden the sealant. The entire process takes less than a minute. Sealants can last up to ten years if cared for properly and are virtually invisible. Caring for your sealants are easy. Simply avoid hard foods or biting habits like chewing nails or ice. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. The smooth plastic covering does not irritate your lips or cheeks. Additionally, if you visit your dentist regularly, they can monitor the condition of your sealants and repair or replace them when needed. If you are interested in learning more about protective sealants and how they can prevent pit and fissure decay, visit us at The Max Dental Center or call us today at (901) 861-0031.
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