If you have plaque on your teeth, you may know that it can be very destructive. One way to protect your teeth from plaque is to for your dentist to apply sealants. Sealants are a clear or white plastic that are placed in the grooves of the biting surfaces of back teeth.
Your back teeth have deep grooves and pits that are very difficult to keep clean. Plaque, which is a nearly invisible film of bacteria and food, collects in these grooves. To make the plaque easier to see, a stain with a harmless red dye may be used.
Every time you eat, the bacteria in plaque forms acid. Without sealants, these acid attacks can cause the enamel to break down, and you get a cavity.
When sealants are applied, you usually don’t even have to be numb. First of all, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned, then a conditioning solution is applied. After that, the sealant material is brushed into the grooves. Some types of sealants harden on their own, while others harden when exposed to a special light.
Sealants are an important part of a good preventative dental care program. Talk to your dentist to see if sealants are right for you.