Sealants and Fluoride Treatments: Part of Your Preventative Care Plan
When it comes to long-lasting oral health, prevention is key. That is why we offer a wide range of preventative procedures at our Brooklyn, NY, dental practice. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments help defend your teeth from cavities and tooth decay.
While fluoride actively remineralizes enamel, sealants shield the teeth from harmful cavity-causing bacteria. Although these procedures are typically performed on children, adults can also benefit from them. In fact, we recommend sealants and fluoride treatments as part of your family’s comprehensive dental care. At Brooklyn Heights Dental, we are committed to delivering top-tier dental care to our community. From preventative care to treatments in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, we are well-equipped to meet your oral health needs.
What Are Dental Sealants?
By nature, molars and premolars have deep grooves and fissures that help grind up food for digestion. However, these areas often trap food and harbor bacteria, increasing your risk of tooth decay. Dental sealants are tooth-colored barriers that protect these teeth from cavities.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
To apply dental sealants, your dentist will first clean the teeth to remove any debris or food particles. Next, he or she paints a thin resin material onto the problematic areas. The resin is then hardened with a dental curing light. With proper care and maintenance, dental sealants last about five years on average.
How Do Sealants Protect the Teeth?
Think of dental sealants as raincoats for your teeth. They temporarily shield vulnerable areas from food, debris, and bacteria and reduce the risk for decay. It is important to note that sealants are not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. They are intended to be an element of your preventative care and typically last for about 10 years.
Sealants are incredibly effective. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, sealants can reduce the risk of cavities by almost 80 percent immediately and up to 60 percent over the course of the next four to five years.
No matter your age, sealants and fluoride treatments can actively preserve your oral health and prevent more complex issues from developing in the future.
What Is Fluoride Treatment?
The outermost layer of a tooth, also known as the enamel, protects your smile from decay and damage. However, the enamel can be compromised by plaque buildup. This accumulation is the result of bacteria feeding off of food trapped in your teeth and creating acidic waste. The acids can erode the enamel in a process known as demineralization, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to damage.
Fluoride combats this effect by remineralizing tooth enamel, making your smile strong and healthy. When combined with proper oral hygiene, fluoride treatments are highly effective in preventing cavities.
How Is Fluoride Administered?
Fluoride treatments take less than five minutes. Your dentist will apply the fluoride in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. Generally, you will be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything for the next 30 minutes so the fluoride can be absorbed by the teeth. Depending on your unique needs, we may recommend fluoride treatments every six to 12 months.
How Does Fluoride Protect Your Oral Health?
Fluoride protects your smile by effectively strengthening the tooth enamel. In years past, dentists believed that these treatments were only beneficial for developing teeth. However, modern research has proven that fluoride is advantageous for fighting cavities at all ages.
Benefits of Sealants and Fluoride Treatments
No matter your age, sealants and fluoride treatments can actively preserve your oral health and prevent more complex issues from developing in the future. Patients who are prone to cavities and tooth decay can exponentially reduce their risk for these problems with preventative care. In most cases, we recommend combining dental sealants and fluoride treatments for optimal oral health.
Protect You or Your Child's Smile
Preventative dental care can protect your smile for many years to come and eliminate the need for more costly intervention in the future. To learn more, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact us online or call our office at (718) 857-6639.