Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in our dental clinic by the efforts of our dentists and dental hygienists to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays.
Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth of your children.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
What are Dental Sealants ?
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay. Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
What are the Benefits of Dental Sealants for your teeth?
Dental sealants work to coat and seal the grooves and hollows, preventing even the most the harmful bacteria from building up on the tooth. The size and depth of the hollows and grooves in your child’s teeth will determine whether he or she can benefit from the application of a sealant. These sealants are typically used on the molars and premolars at the back of the mouth, as these are the teeth that most frequently develop surface irregularities. Sealants act to prevent bacteria growth that can lead to dental decay.
Why opt for Dental Sealants?
Evidence suggests that fissure sealants are effective in preventing caries in children and adolescents compared to no sealants. Pit and fissure sealants are a safe and effective way to prevent dental caries and should be considered as part of an overall caries-preventive strategy. Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dentist needs to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.
What is fluoride treatment?
Fluoride treatments are typically professional treatments containing a high concentration of fluoride that a dentist or hygienist will apply to a person’s teeth to improve health and reduce the risk of cavities. These in-office treatments may take the form of a solution, gel, foam, or varnish. There are also some high-concentration fluoride treatments that people can use at home but only under the specific direction of a dentist. The fluoride dentists use in these treatments is similar to the fluoride in toothpaste. However, the treatment contains much higher doses and may offer more rapid benefits.
What are the Benefits of fluoride and fluoride treatments?
Fluoride has several benefits for the teeth:
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
When taken together, these benefits may help to:
• reduce the risk of cavities
• slow the growth of cavities
• delay the need for expensive dental work
• prolong the life of baby teeth
• reduce the amount of time and money a person has to spend at the dentist
What happens during a professional fluoride treatment?
Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash.These treatments have much more fluoride than what’s in your water or toothpaste. They only take a few minutes to apply. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.