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This Thanksgiving holiday, like most folks you will likely be recalling many of the things you are grateful for. Your health is probably on the list, so don’t leave out your oral health! Your beautiful smile, you pearly whites, your pink healthy gums, the list could be long. We have another item for your gratitude list: your dental sealants.

Dental sealants are the clear plastic resin coating which your dentist painted onto your molars, those back teeth that work the hardest in chewing your favorite foods. While your other teeth bite and chew for you, they don’t have the large flat surfaces your molars have, so they don’t have the pits and fissures that can trap tiny food particles and bacteria. That trapped debris eventually forms into bacterial plaque that can harden into tartar, which cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental sealants cover those grooves, keeping that bacterial plaque at bay. Take some time to appreciate the work those sealants do to keep you cavity-free! And then be extra mindful of caring for them in your daily routine.

Begin with a soft-bristled toothbrush and an American Dental Association approved toothpaste–proven to be safe and effective–and carefully brush all tooth surfaces. Using a circular motion, gently clean the top, front and back of each tooth. Be sure to clean around the gums and gum line as well, as that is where tartar forms.

Next, floss the areas between the teeth and the gums and gum line. This is important! Flossing breaks the bacterial film—plaque—so that the bacterial colonies can be destroyed.

Finally, follow-up with an antibacterial mouthwash that can help kill any lingering germs. Just remember that mouthwash cannot replace your flossing efforts, as flossing physically loosens the debris between the teeth and gums which the mouthwash can then rinse away. By itself mouthwash cannot loosen the debris.

So while you are enjoying all that pumpkin pie and turkey this Thanksgiving, remember to thank your dental sealants for keeping your molars healthy and strong!

Please contact our office at 254 227-5082 if you have any questions about caring for your dental sealants. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!