Dental Clinic Miller
Prevention is better than cure, according to the old adage. Very few people will disagree with this notion. And of course, it applies to our teeth. Far better to brush and clean our teeth that to have cavities and gum infections that need treatment by the dentist. It is also far cheaper.
Diligent daily cleaning is not the only preventative measure. Our dentist can take preventative measures to greatly reduce and even eliminate tooth decay, though these treatments only work if we also continue to brush our teeth.
Fluoride Treatment – Dental Clinic Miller
We have all heard of fluoride. A few toothpaste brands advertise their fluoride content. Sometimes fluoride is added to local water sources. The main benefit of fluoride is strengthening of tooth enamel. When the teeth are exposed to fluoride on a regular basis they harden, and become more resilient to decay. While this fluoride exposure is good at any stage of life it is especially beneficial in children, because it helps the forming teeth harden before they can suffer any damage.
If adult teeth are in very early stages of decay the fluoride can remineralize the tooth enamel. Fluoride can also helps keep the mouth clean, especially if we have a dry mouth. It can reduce the acidity of the mouth.
Dentists can apply a strong fluoride treatment as part of our regular visit. This treatment applies fluoride directly to the teeth via a small mouthguard. Because it is not swallowed the fluoride treatments can be stronger than usual. Swallowing fluoride in large amounts is unhealthy, which is why we do not swallow toothpaste.
Sealants – Dental Clinic Miller
Our back molar teeth have a rough top surface designed for chewing. This rough surface is effective, but it is prone to trapping food debris, which leads to decay. This is all the worse as the tiny spaces in the molar tooth can be smaller than the bristles of a toothbrush, making the surface hard to clean even with regular brushing.
Dental Sealants deal with this decay problem. These sealants are applied to the top of the molar teeth, and fill in all of the small spaces. The molar teeth will still have the larger rough ridges for chewing, only the small spaces will be filled by the sealant. This prevents most decay problems on the top of molar teeth.
Sealants are often applied when we are in our early teens, when the primary teeth have all emerged. They should last 5 years or more, after which time they are removed and replaced with a fresh layer of sealant.
Sealants can only be applied to the rough surface of back molars. Unfortunately, they cannot be applied to the smooth surface of other teeth as they require a rough surface for adequate adhesion.
Dental Clinic Miller
Regular dental visits are essential. Dentist can provide fluoride treatments and molar sealants to reduce tooth decay.