Our team at Fresh Dental places a priority on preventive dentistry. This is because preventive treatments can help reduce oral healthcare costs for our patients and improve the health of teeth. When possible, our family dentist encourages preventive treatments as a way to avoid invasive procedures in the future. Two popular methods for strengthening teeth and preventing infection and decay are fluoride treatments and dental sealants. These non-invasive treatments help strengthen teeth by enhancing tooth structure so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot penetrate the outer surfaces of teeth.
Fluoride treatments are administered to help strengthen tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the outer structure of teeth that protects softer internal structures like dentin from the bacteria that cause caries. Made of minerals, enamel is actually the toughest substance in the human body. Unfortunately, exposure to acid can strip enamel of its mineralized content and thus leave teeth vulnerable to decay. Fluoride is a powerful mineral that helps attract other minerals to enamel, which in turn, helps replenish weakened tooth enamel.
By strengthening tooth enamel, fluoride can help prevent the incidence of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are applied to the teeth in a flavored gel or varnish. The foam or varnish is kept on the teeth for a short period of time and then rinsed away by our dental hygienists. This process is quick and simple and tolerable to all patients, including children.
Dental sealants are another method for preventing tooth decay. Some teeth have deep grooves and fissures, which are a perfect spot for bacteria and debris to collect. This is why certain teeth such as molars are more susceptible to developing cavities than others. A sealant fills in these pits and grooves of teeth with a plastic compound that bacteria cannot penetrate.
Most of the time, children and adolescents receive sealants but adults may benefit from this treatment as well. The process is non-invasive and quick. First, the biting surfaces of teeth (usually molars) are painted with a liquid plastic material. This material is then cured with a hardening light, allowing a sealant to ultimately serve as a barrier between cavity-causing bacteria and the tooth.
Our team is here to help you and your family enjoy vibrant oral health for years to come. To learn more about preventive services or to schedule an appointment, call our dental practice today.