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A quick glance at the inside of your mouth will show that not all of your teeth have the same shape. That’s because not all of your teeth have the same function. For example, your back teeth, known as your premolars and molars are designed to grind your food to make it easier for you to swallow and digest it. To do that, they are equipped with a set of ridges called cusps. While the cusps help your teeth to process your food, they also provide extra places for plaque and bacteria to collect and cause cavities. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush twice a day, but your toothbrush may not be able to reach between the cusps.

An effective way to solve this problem is with the use of dental sealants. Sealants are thin layers of plastic applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. They serve as barriers between your tooth enamel and those substances which can cause cavities.

The process is simple. Your dentist will clean and dry the tooth, and then apply a mild acidic solution designed to create tiny abrasions on the surface of your tooth, which will help the sealant adhere. When the tooth is dry, the sealant will be applied and either cured with a special light or allowed to cure on its own. While the sealant can last approximately ten years,you will still need to brush and floss your teeth, and see your dentist for your regular visits. Sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars.

Usually, sealants are applied to the children’s back teeth as soon as they come in, since this will give them the most protection, especially at a time when they are vulnerable to cavities. However, if an older child or adult has a healthy set of molars, or is at a high risk of cavities, the dentist may apply sealants.

If you are interested in dental sealants for your children, or even for yourself, and you live in the Palm Desert, California, area, call 760-610-0497 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregg Balis at Gregg Balis DDS.