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While there are unique variations from one individual to another, each tooth in your mouth has a shape specific to its primary function. Molars and premolars in the back of your mouth are used to chew and grind food. To aid in this endeavor, the teeth have deeply textured tooth enamel on the biting surfaces.

On one hand, this makes the teeth more efficient at chewing and grinding tough foods. On the other hand, the deep recesses of the tooth enamel can trap food particles and plaque. In time, this could promote tooth decay.

Fortunately, this problem can be prevented by having your dentist, Dr. Niloufer Hamsayeh, apply dental sealants to the biting surfaces of each tooth. This is a clear, plastic resin that creates a thin, protective barrier. Even if plaque and food particles get stuck in the pits and fissures of the biting surface, the dental sealants will prevent bacteria from having direct access to the tooth enamel.

It’s important to remember that the sealants are only protecting the biting surfaces. The rest of the tooth will still be vulnerable to tooth decay. Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine of brushing twice and flossing once a day is still critical for preventing cavities on other areas of the tooth. You shouldn’t be afraid to brush the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The dental sealants are durable enough that they won’t be degraded by general wear and tear or routine brushing.

If you are concerned about cavities on your back teeth, you should call Niloufer G. Hamsayeh, DDS at 415.682.6377 to ask about dental sealants in San Francisco, California.