Westchester Dental Sealant Expert
Protect the health of your family’s teeth with Sealants and Fluoride
What is a sealant?
A sealant is a protective coating of very thin plastic applied to the chewing surface of your teeth. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces of molars with deep natural grooves. These grooves can be very difficult to clean thoroughly, but sealants applied by the Westchester dental sealant dentist smoothes over the surfaces of these teeth, making them easier to clean and reducing the risk of decay.
Who needs sealants?
- Children and teens – Sealants are most effective when applied to a child’s teeth as soon as their permanent molars appear.
- Very young children – In some cases it may be recommended to seal the baby teeth of some very young children. The good health of these first teeth is critical to ensure proper spacing and development of permanent teeth.
- Adults – Sealants can also be applied to healthy adult teeth that have deeply grooved surfaces.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealant to a tooth is a simple four-step procedure done by your Westchester dental sealant dentist or hygienist and takes only a few minutes per tooth:
- Teeth are cleaned thoroughly and then protected to keep them dry during the sealing process.
- A solution is then applied to the surface of the tooth to aid in bonding the sealant to the dental enamel.
- The sealant is then applied carefully to the surface of the dental enamel to make sure that deep grooves and pitted surfaces are thoroughly covered.
- Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden by itself or with the help of a special curing light.
Sealants have proven to be very effective in protecting healthy teeth and preventing tooth decay from developing. They can last as long as 10 years but need to be checked by your dentist regularly to make sure they have not chipped or become worn.
Fluoride is a necessary part of Prevention
Appropriate quantities of fluoride are one of the most effective ways to safeguard the oral health of your whole family. We all ingest a certain amount of fluoride from food and water, but in many cases it is not enough to effectively prevent decay.
The use of fluoride is backed up by more than 50 years of positive results. Fluoride treatment may be recommended by your Westchester dental sealants dentist for a number of reasons:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
- Poor oral hygiene
- Excess intake of sugar
- Inadequate exposure to fluorides
How does fluoride work?
Topical fluoride is found in dental products like toothpaste and mouth wash. Topical fluoride strengthens teeth as it is absorbed through the outer surface of tooth enamel.
Systemic fluoride comes from foods and our water supply. “Systemic” refers to fluoride that is introduced internally. Systemic fluoride strengthens teeth that have already erupted as well as teeth that are still developing under the gums. Your dentist may recommend that fluoride be taken by drops or in gel form.
Fluoride treatments for older adults
We often think of fluoride treatments as being most appropriate for children. But fluoride also plays an important part in preventing root decay in older adults. Gum recession has become more and more commonplace in older adults since we are living longer. As gums recede, the root surface may become exposed to harmful bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride has been shown to be effective in making roots less prone to decay and infection in adults.