The scoop on sealants.

The scoop on sealants.

Ever wonder what your back teeth look like? Viewed from above the molars look a lot like a mountain range, complete with deep canyons, valleys and plenty of ridges. Surprisingly, these canyons or grooves can be quite deep. Unfortunately, the deeper the groove, the harder it is to keep it clean - especially at the very bottom.

That is where sealant comes in. Sealants are a great way to protect new permanent teeth and even some baby teeth. Liquid sealant flows into and over the grooves of the back teeth. When it hardens, it turns a deep groove into a shallow one that a toothbrush can easily clean. The sealant also acts as a barrier, protecting the teeth's enamel from plaque and acids and invasion of bacteria.

Sealants are easy to apply and it only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. Sealants reduce 80% of all cavities that occur in the chewing surface of the tooth. The prevention is priceless. It could be said that sealants are the cheek-to-cheek 100,000 mile warranty for teeth.

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