In order to protect your child’s teeth from decay, Dr. Holladay may recommend dental sealants. These are a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface grooves of the back teeth. Because most tooth decay occurs in these locations for children and teens, sealants protect the surfaces by keeping germs and food particles out of the grooves. In fact, they work so well that we now recommend them for adults as well, when appropriate.
To learn whether dental sealants are appropriate for you, please call (843) 903-3111 today for an appointment with Myrtle Beach dentist Dr. Dustin Holladay at Carolina Forest Cosmetic Dentistry.
Why Choose Dental Sealants
When they first emerge, our molars have uneven surfaces full of pits and grooves. These are perfect for grinding hard, high-fiber foods. But with the modern diet, we do less grinding, and we eat more sugar. Sugar leads to an explosion of damaging bacteria that produces acid, which attacks the enamel of your teeth. The small pits and grooves become great places where bacteria can hide. Acid gets concentrated there, leading to tooth decay, cavities.
Sealants fill in these pits and grooves to protect your teeth from cavities. They can dramatically reduce your risk of cavities. Studies show they can prevent up to 80% of cavities. They work best when applied shortly after teeth emerge, about age 6 for a child’s first molars, or age 12 for second molars and reapplied as necessary to maintain continuous protection. However, we can apply sealants at any age. In some cases, we can use them even after a tooth has developed a minor cavity.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants used to be recommended just for children, but now they are recommended for adults, too, because of their many benefits. Dental sealants:
- Are nearly invisible under normal circumstances
- Can last five to ten years
- Reduce the need for (and cost of) restorative dentistry
- Are BPA-free
- Can be applied in just a few minutes
As much as we love challenging restorative dentistry, we want to protect your smile so you never need it. That’s why we offer sealants as part of a comprehensive prevention program. They prevent many, but not all, cavities, so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene. Most of your oral hygiene happens at home, with regular brushing and flossing. Remember to use a fluoride toothpaste, which helps strengthen your enamel and protects against decay.
Also make regular dental checkups. This allows us to remove hardened plaque (called tartar or dental calculus) that can increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
If you are looking for comprehensive preventive dentistry in Myrtle Beach, please call (843) 903-3111 today for an appointment at Carolina Forest Cosmetic Dentistry.