Sealants & Fluoride
Your teeth are exposed to a lot every single day, including harmful acids from both plaque and bacteria, as well as acids from foods and beverages. When these acids are left on the surfaces of the teeth for too long, they can begin to eat away at the protective enamel layer, which can then lead to the formation of cavities. At Blue Summit Dental Group, we can help you to prevent cavities, and keep your teeth strong and healthy, with sealants and fluoride.
The chewing surfaces of your molars have deep grooves and crevices. These areas can easily trap food particles and oral bacteria. They can be difficult to thoroughly clean, even if you brush your teeth regularly. When bacteria build up in these crevices, it can lead to tooth decay and the formation of cavities. If left untreated, cavities only continue to grow larger, compromising the structure of the teeth and putting them at risk for infections.
Sealants are a quick, simple, completely painless procedure designed to cover over the crevices on the molars, which then prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped in them. Sealants are made up of plastic and other materials and can stand up to most normal daily wear and tear. Before placing sealants, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned. If you have any cavities already present, these will need to be treated first as well.
Sealants do not require any local anesthetic. After the teeth have been cleaned, we apply an acid etch to the surfaces of the molars. This acid works to create a rough texture in your enamel. The texture aids in a stronger bond between the sealant material and your teeth. The acid is then washed away, and the teeth dried. Next, the sealant material is painted onto the molars. Finally, a specialized UV light is used to cure, or dry, the material, and they provide immediate protection. By covering the crevices, not only is buildup prevented, the molars are easier to clean.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in the teeth that provides them with protection against the acid attacks of plaque and oral bacteria. Every day, fluoride is lost, through a process known as demineralization. It can, and should, also be replaced. Fluoride is replaced in several ways. Treated water contains a designated amount of the mineral. Certain foods contain trace amounts. There are also numerous types of fluoridated oral care products, including toothpaste and mouthwashes.
While most people get the necessary amount of fluoride, others may not. When you lack sufficient fluoride, your teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are a quick, pain-free procedure that can help to restore lost fluoride and provide your teeth with the protection they need. After your teeth have been cleaned, a fluoride gel is applied. The fluoride is absorbed directly into the enamel, going to work remineralizing the teeth. It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes after treatment before eating or drinking anything to provide the best results. Fluoride treatments are frequently done following your professional cleanings, making them simple to get.
Cavities are a serious oral health issue that not only compromises the integrity of your teeth but can also cause painful, detrimental infections. For more information, and to find out if sealants and fluoride are right for you, call Blue Summit Dental Group today at (810) 658-9177.