Your back teeth are known as premolars and molars. They have an important job to do. When you eat, their task is to do the hard work of chewing your food. To do this, the tops of your back teeth have been outfitted with grooves and ridges, or fissures. Those fissures allow your teeth to grind up your food to make it easier to swallow.
However, those same fissures are great hiding places for bacteria and plaque, which work together to create cavities. To keep those areas safe, your dentist can apply a dental sealant to your teeth. Dental sealants are thin coats of plastic that are applied to the back teeth to prevent the accumulation of plaque, food debris and bacteria from causing cavities.
The best time to apply a dental sealant is when a child is between the ages of six and twelve when their permanent molars and premolars start to erupt. In some cases, older kids and adults may benefit from sealants as well.
Keep in mind that dental sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. You will still need to brush and floss your teeth daily. See your dentist on a regular basis for a professional cleaning and exam and to have your sealants checked.
If you are interested in dental sealants for your child or another member of your family, Dr. Steven Ross will be happy to help. If you live in the Salinas, California, area and would like to make an appointment at Ross Family Dental, give us a call at 831-422-5351. We look forward to seeing you soon!