Sealants & Fluoride
Your mouth is filled with oral bacteria. Throughout the day, these bacteria feast on sugars and other food particles that linger in your mouth after eating. As they eat, they produce harmful acids that can lead to tooth decay. Significant decay can destroy your teeth. Brushing and flossing help to kill oral bacteria, but they are very good at hiding, and some can elude your attempts to get rid of them. At Water's Edge Dental, we can provide you with sealants and fluoride treatments, which can greatly help to protect your teeth from bacterial attack.
On the top surface of your molars are cusps. These cusps create deep crevices. As you chew your food, small pieces can get stuck here, and will ultimately attract the attention of oral bacteria. Unfortunately, when you brush, the bristles of your toothbrush just aren't enough to thoroughly clean these crevices, no matter what you do. As a result, the bacteria begin to multiply, eventually leading to tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of your molars.
Sealants are designed to close off the crevices, making it difficult for food and bacteria to become lodged while, at the same time, making your molars easier to brush and keep clean. Typically, sealants are done on younger children, as they are more prone to cavities, but sealants can also be beneficial to adults. The procedure for getting sealants is quick and completely painless. First, we thoroughly clean and dry your teeth, ensuring that there are no lingering bacteria or other contaminants. Next, an acidic gel is placed on the surface of your molars, which creates a rough surface, allowing the sealant material to adhere effectively. The gel is washed off, and your teeth dried a second time. The sealants are applied, and we use a special blue light to dry them. Sealants are made of plastic, mixed with other materials. Despite that fact, they can withstand normal chewing forces, and can often last several years. If they do become ruined, it is a simple enough process to reapply them.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in your teeth. Every day, through natural processes, that mineral is leeched out. To keep your teeth strong, and prevent decay, it needs to be replaced. Fluoride can be found in a variety of sources, including toothpaste, the water supply, and even some foods. However, these sources are often not enough. This is where fluoride treatments come in.
Much like sealants, fluoride treatments are usually given to younger children, as they protect the enamel from bacterial acid attacks. Not only does the fluoride protect their baby teeth, but it also builds up at the gum line, providing a protective barrier for their adult teeth, when they finally emerge. They are also beneficial for adults. They can be especially helpful for those who have conditions that compromise their oral health and make them more susceptible to tooth decay. Fluoride treatments, like sealants, are a simple, pain-free process. All we need to do is apply a fluoride gel to the surfaces of your teeth. The fluoride simply absorbs into the enamel. For this reason, you should wait at least half an hour before eating or drinking. Along with regular brushing, flossing and dental visits, fluoride can help to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
If you are interested in sealants and fluoride treatment, for your children or yourself, call Water's Edge Dental today!