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Preventing cavities with your daily brushing and flossing routine along with regular dental checkups and cleanings can go a long way to helping teeth remain cavity free. And since the 1970’s, dental sealants have been proven effective at helping molars and premolars remain cavity-free even more.

Known as pit and fissure sealants, dental sealants shield the back teeth from bacterial plaque and food particles on the chewing surfaces, which are harder to clean because of their location. Because the flat surface of the molars is prone to these pits and fissures, they are a magnet for dental caries when those indentations hang onto oral debris. So how do sealants protect your pearly whites?

— Sealants are applied painlessly to the teeth in one trip to the dentist.

–Sealants are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars with a thin plastic resin coating.

–After this coating is applied to the tooth enamel, it hardens and bonds to the tooth.

–The plastic resin coating may be tinted, white or clear.

–Sealants are inspected during future dental checkups and cleanings to make sure they are free from cracks or chips.

–Can last up to 10 years, but 5-7 years is more typical. The key to longevity is proper care and maintenance.

–Children and teenagers are typical candidates for sealants, but adults who are cavity-prone are also eligible if they currently have no fillings or cavities in the molars.

Dental sealants, when used along with a good oral hygiene routine including daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups and cleanings, offer proven protection against cavities. Please call our team in Lee’s Summit, Missouri at 816-554-7656 if you would like to schedule an appointment with James D. Schuette. DDS.