Preventative dental care is one of the best steps that you can take to care for your teeth. You may be aware that dental hygiene exams are recommend for children, teens and adults twice per year. The primary care services that are offered at these hygiene exams are cleanings, fluoride treatments and x-rays. Any signs of decay or other issues can be identified early so that treatment can begin before serious damage occurs. In addition to these preventative care steps, your dentist may also recommend that sealants be placed on your teeth. While this is optional, it is highly recommended.
The surfaces of most teeth are not perfectly smooth and flat. They are contoured and grooved. In addition, many teeth are placed rather tightly together. These factors all make it more challenging for you to properly and thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth on a regular basis. Any time food or other debris remains on the teeth, decay can occur. In many cases, decay goes undetected by the individual until significant damage has occurred. In such situations, a standard filling may not address the issue properly. More significant measures, such as a crown, may be required to restore oral healthy. This type of decay can result in pain, cosmetic issues, difficulty eating and more expensive dental treatments.
A sealant is an extra layer of protection for your teeth. It is a very thin, clear coating that essentially prevents sugar, food particles and other items from coming into direct contact with your teeth. The sealant is applied as a liquid agent, and it quickly fills into the grooves and crevices on the teeth. This liquid hardens quickly, and it essentially seals your teeth. It is most commonly used on the back teeth, such as on the molars and premolars.
Sealants are usually placed on teeth during your younger years, such as in your pre-adolescent and teen years. However, some adults do not yet have sealants on their teeth. In some cases, the sealants are no longer effective because of age and wear, and they will need to be replaced. A smart idea is to schedule a hygiene exam if you have not had one in the last six months. Through this exam, your dentist can determine if you need initial sealants or if you need to replace worn out sealants.
Schedule a dental hygiene appointment today to get the preventative care that you need from our trusted Mesa, AZ dentist.