Sealants and fluoride treatments play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay, which is caused by the acids produced by oral bacteria as they eat lingering sugars and other food particles. At Downtown Dental Care, we want to do everything we can to help you in the fight against tooth decay, and offer both sealants and fluoride treatments. These treatments are often administered to young children, in an effort to protect them in their most vulnerable, cavity-prone years. But that doesn’t mean that adults can’t get these treatments. In fact, they are helpful for anyone of any age!
Your molars have cusps. At the center of these cusps are deep crevices, which are the perfect place for the food you eat to get stuck while you chew. They are also the perfect hiding place bacteria. Because of the depth of these crevices, the bristles on your toothbrush cannot reach all the way to the bottom, no matter how you brush. Sealants, which are made up of plastic and other materials, are applied to close off the crevices and create a surface that is easily accessible to your toothbrush.
Getting sealants is quick and completely painless. Dr. Dr. Christianson cleans the teeth and dries them thoroughly. An acidic gel is applied to create a rough surface to which the sealant material can better adhere. That gel is then cleaned off and the teeth dried again. The sealant is applied to the designated teeth and dried using a blue light.
Despite the material, sealants are able to withstand normal chewing forces and wear. They can last several years, but if the need arises, they can easily be reapplied.
Fluoride is an essential element for healthy teeth. It helps to keep the enamel of your teeth strong against bacteria and their acids. Your teeth contain fluoride, but every day they lose some of the mineral. This is why remineralization, or the act of replacing the mineral, is important. While you can get fluoride from your water supply (if you have town or city water, it is added, and the levels regulated), as well as fluoridated toothpastes, the levels are relatively low. This is why we offer fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments are quite simple. A gel is applied to your teeth that contains the mineral. It absorbs into your teeth, so it is important that you do not eat, drink or even rinse for at least half an hour after, in order to reap maximum benefits. They are especially beneficial for children, even if they haven’t gotten their permanent teeth. Not only does the fluoride keep the enamel of their baby teeth strong, it collects on their gums, which protects their permanent teeth from bacterial acid attacks when they finally do emerge.
Fluoride treatments, like sealants, are just as beneficial for adults as they are for children. Fluoride helps to protect and rebuild the enamel of your teeth, keeping acid attacks at bay. They are also particularly helpful for those who suffer from compromising conditions that raise the risk of developing tooth decay. For instance, some medications cause dry mouth, which makes your mouth a more agreeable breeding ground for bacteria. It also helps those who have braces or other dental appliances like bridges or crowns.
Sealants and fluoride are important tools in the fight against tooth decay. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment for these treatments, feel free to give us a call at (503) 420-7600!