Fluoride Treatment and Sealants
If you or your child is prone to cavities, fluoride treatments and sealants are two ways to protect teeth from future decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that strengthens teeth, while sealants are plastic coatings placed on the chewing surface of teeth. While both these treatments are more commonly performed on children, they can help adults prevent cavities as well. At North Meridian Dental Excellence in Indianapolis, IN, Dr. Benjamin Ahlbrecht and his team provide many forms of preventive dentistry and will use every tool available to protect your teeth and ensure your lasting oral health.
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water sources and some food, but only in small amounts. Some areas add fluoride to their water. It is also found in most toothpastes and rinses, and experts say the best way to prevent tooth decay is to use several sources of fluoride.
Why Do I Need It?
The enamel, or outer layer, of your teeth is in a constant process of demineralization (losing minerals) and remineralization (gaining minerals). Ideally, these two processes balance each other out, keeping your teeth strong. However, when plaque begins to build up on your teeth, the enamel can weaken which leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride helps speed remineralization, strengthen tooth enamel, and stop bacteria from making the acids that damage your teeth. It can strengthen your teeth from the outside in the form of toothpaste, rinses, fluoride treatments, or from the inside in fluoridated water and drinks, prescriptions, and small amounts in food.
Professional Dental Treatments
Fluoride treatments in our office contain more of the mineral than over-the-counter mouthwash or toothpaste. This treatment is applied directly onto your teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish, facilitating better absorption. Waiting 30 minutes after treatments to eat or drink helps increase the fluoride's effectiveness.
If you are prone to cavities or are looking for a way to protect your child’s teeth, fluoride treatments and sealants are excellent supplements to your regular oral health routine.
Dental sealants can be clear, white, or have a slight tint depending on the material, and typically last for many years. They are usually placed on the chewing surface of permanent back teeth. These surfaces have grooves that make them more vulnerable to decay. Plaque accumulates in these hard-to-clean fissures, which can lead to cavities. While fluoride helps all surfaces of your teeth, sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas of the molars.
Most often, sealants are placed on children ages eleven to thirteen. The plastic coatings are generally placed as soon as the permanent tooth erupts from the gums after the baby tooth is lost. They can also placed in adults with a high risk for cavities, if deep grooves and fissures do not already have fillings or sealants.
It is important to remember that sealants only protect the surface they are placed on, so it is crucial that you continue using fluoride to protect all surfaces of your teeth from decay and cavities.
Protect Your Teeth
Cavities are serious, and without treatment, can lead to further damage or even tooth loss. Regular teeth cleanings and exams can prevent tooth decay and detect cavities before they become serious. If you are prone to cavities or are looking for a way to protect your child’s teeth, fluoride treatments and sealants are excellent supplements to your regular oral health routine. Contact our office online or call (317) 517-5000 to schedule a consultation with our team today.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.