Sealants & Fluoride
Cavities are a common issue. Millions of people have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. While common, they can also be quite dangerous if not treated right away. Cavities are formed when the acids from plaque and bacteria are left on the surfaces of your teeth. These acids begin to erode the protective enamel, causing weak spots. Over time, cavities form. Without treatment, cavities only continue to get larger, compromising the tooth structure and putting it at risk for infection. Taking action to prevent cavities is essential. For many, regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings are enough. Others, however, may be more susceptible to cavities. At Sussex Dental, we can help to further prevent cavities with sealants and fluoride.
SealantsThe chewing surfaces of your molars can be particularly vulnerable to cavities. These surfaces have deep grooves and crevices that can trap food particles and oral bacteria. These areas are also more difficult to thoroughly clean. The bristles of your toothbrush may not be able to completely reach the bottoms of the crevices, leaving debris and bacteria behind. Sealants are a common dental treatment for protecting the vulnerable surfaces of your teeth. They are a synthetic material made up of plastics that covers the grooves and crevices of the molars, designed to effectively seal out food particles and bacteria. As an additional benefit, sealants also help to make cleaning a much easier process. Before receiving sealants, any cavities already present need to be treated. Getting your sealants is a quick, simple, completely painless process. First, the teeth are cleaned. Next, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of your molars. This is done to create a rough texture so that the sealant material can more easily adhere. The acid is washed off, and the teeth are dried. Finally, the sealant material is applied to the molars and dried using a specialized light. The entire process generally only takes 30 minutes.
FluorideFluoride is a naturally occurring element in the teeth, essential for helping the teeth to fight off acid attacks and preventing tooth decay. Every day, fluoride is leeched from the teeth. It can be replaced in several ways. The most common ways of replacing fluoride are with treated water and fluoridated oral care products. For many people, this is enough to help protect the teeth. For others, however, cavities can still form, even when they brush and floss regularly. We can help to strengthen the teeth, protecting them from decay and cavities with fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments are quick and completely painless. They are typically applied after your regular 6-month cleanings. After your teeth have been cleaned, a fluoride gel is applied to the surfaces of your teeth. The gel contains fluoride that is absorbed directly into your enamel. It goes to work strengthening your enamel, helping the teeth to fight off the attacks from the acids produced by plaque and bacteria. It is recommended that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes following the procedure. With sealants and fluoride, we can help you to better protect your teeth from cavities. For more information, and to find out if these options are right for you, call Sussex Dental today at (262) 246-6806.