March To A Healthy Smile: Fluoride & Sealants
If you are a parent, then you have probably had the following conversation at one time or another after a child’s surprisingly fast trip to the bathroom.
You: Did you brush your teeth?
Child: Um …. yes.
You [somewhat suspicious]: Did you really brush your teeth?
Child: Yes …
You [suspecting that your child has not really brushed, but tired from a long day]: All right, if you say so. Time for bed.
You want your family to be as healthy as possible, and oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health. At the same time, we’re all human — and on top of that kids will be kids.
You know that your kids should brush their teeth, and your kids know that you want them to brush and floss regularly. But we also know that kids don’t always do what their parents want them to do.
So, it’s good to have a backup plan for those times when you don’t have the energy to fight with you kids about brushing their teeth right. It’s time to learn about fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
You can get both of them during your routine visits to our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI. We will discuss the benefits of each below.
You already understand the basics of oral care. You know that you should brush your teeth (twice a day, two minutes at a time) with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. You also know that you should floss daily.
But why does the American Dental Association encourage people to use fluoride toothpaste? And why does the ADA support fluoridation of water?
And for that matter, why are we encouraging you and your family to get fluoride treatments during your next dental cleaning and exam?
You probably don’t notice this, but on a microscopic level, your teeth change every day.
Bacteria and plaque take away the minerals in the enamel of your teeth. This is called demineralization.
At the same time, calcium, fluoride, and other minerals are deposited onto your teeth through the foods you eat and the things you drink. This is called remineralization.
Tooth decay occurs when you lose more minerals than your replace. Tooth decay can lead to cavities.
Fluoride treatments can give a boost to the fluoride you get every day in toothpaste, in drinking water, and in some mouthrinses. These treatments help to make your and your children’s teeth stronger and more resistant to tooth decay.
This is not a substitute for brushing, flossing, and cleaning by a dental professional. However, fluoride treatments can play a role in reducing your family’s risk of developing cavities.
If you have questions about fluoride, please call Hubbard & Leath Dental at 248.266.2528 to learn more.
If you had a pest that was constantly trying to get into your garden, you might put up a barrier to make it harder for that pest to get to your flowers or vegetables.
Many bacteria that live in your family’s mouths are like those pests trying to get into the garden. In this case, your teeth are the prized possession the bacteria are trying to get at and damage.
Brushing and flossing help to prevent cavities because they remove bacteria and plaque (a sticky film created by bacteria) from your teeth. Even if you brush and floss like you should, you are never going to remove all the bacteria.
Dental sealants serve as a barrier that protects your most vulnerable teeth (the molars in the back of your mouth) from the bacteria that remain.
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that can be painted onto those back teeth. As it hardens, you and your children will still be able to use your teeth like you normally would.
The difference is that bacteria will now have a harder time getting into the nooks and crannies of your molars (where they may be able to hide from a toothbrush).
Compared to the cost of filling a cavity, dental sealants are a bargain for your family’s smiles.
Remember To Ask About Fluoride, Sealants During Your Next Visit
We hope we will see you and your family a couple times each year for professional dental cleanings and exams. This is our chance to remove plaque and tartar and to polish your teeth.
And while you are here, it’s a convenient time to get fluoride treatments and dental sealants to protect your smiles. Ask about them when you call 248.266.2528 or contact us online to make your next appointment .