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This upcoming holiday season, while you are consuming your favorite foods, you may want to take extra care of your pearly whites and your gums. Your oral health is crucial to enjoying eating as well as talking and smiling while you are visiting with friends and family.

If you have healthy molars in your mouth with no decay in them, you might consider adding the protection of dental sealants to keep unwanted food particles and bacteria out of the pits and grooves on the surface of the molars. These teeth, which sit in the back of your mouth making them harder to reach, can foster the collection of plaque-causing material in these grooves. Your normal teeth are easier to reach and don’t have these grooves, so looking out for your molars may save you cavities down the road.

Dental sealant is a clear plastic resin coating which your dentist can apply to your molars at your next deep cleaning appointment. Once the tooth is cleaned and dried, it is washed with an acid solution to roughen it so that the sealant can adhere to it. Once the sealant is painted on the tooth, it will harden (sometimes with the help of a curing light) and bond to the tooth. This will cover the grooves in the molars keeping out unwanted dental debris.

Caring for your sealants are as easy as caring for your teeth: brush and floss them carefully at least twice a day and follow up with an antibacterial mouthwash that will kill germs and wash any debris away. Keep your scheduled dental cleanings so your dentist can make sure the sealants are chip-free, and clear away any tartar build up to prevent tooth decay or gum disease.

With proper care your dental sealants can last up to ten years, giving you worry-free protection for your molars. So enjoy the upcoming holidays and all the feasting that comes with this time of year, knowing your smile is its healthiest yet!