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All of your teeth need to be protected. Keeping up with your oral hygiene routine, and regular visits to your dentist are the best ways to do that. However, it is possible to miss some areas when brushing, especially when it comes to your back teeth, or molars. If you take a good look at those teeth, you will notice that they have grooves and ridges. Those are there for a good reason: they help you to chew your food. But, because of their shape, bacteria and plaque often make a home in those molars and there is a chance for tooth decay to set in.

Fortunately, there is a second line of defense when it comes to your teeth: dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin coating of plastic that is applied to your teeth by your dentist. The sealant acts as a barrier to keep food particles, plaque and bacteria from building up in those hard-to reach places in your back teeth.

The process is quick and easy. The dentist simply cleans your teeth then applies the sealant. For the most part, dental sealants are used for children ages 6-12. It is during that time that permanent molars come in, and the sealant can be applied before the child develops and cavities or complications. However, an adult who has healthy molars may be a candidate for dental sealants as well. In some cases, a sealant can be used to help prevent the spread of decay. On average, a sealant can last from 10 to 15 years depending on the wear and tear on a patient’s teeth. Your dentist will need to check the sealants during a patient’s checkup. It’s important to remember that sealants do not replace brushing and flossing, or regular dental visits.

If you would like to find out more about dental sealants for your child or other members of your family, you should feel free to contact DM Family Dentistry in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, for a visit with our dentist, Dr. Doris Madrigal. Call 847-740-8827 to make an appointment to discuss dental sealants, or just to have an cleaning and examination.