Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Cavities used to be a fact of life. But over the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically. The key reason: fluoride. Research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible.
A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath. Ask us about having a mouthguard custom-made for you. This will fit well and offer the best protection for your smile.
A Nightguard is a special type of mouthguard worn at night to prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth. The grinding and clenching can wear away at your tooth structure and also create multiple other problems in your joint and even give you relief from headaches and back aches.
Disclosing tablets can work to prevent cavities and periodontal disease by using dyes to help you see the cavity-causing plaque that accumulated on your teeth.
Our Tips for Healthy Habits:
Early Childhood — Prevent Tooth Decay
Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Baby teeth also keep a space in the jaw for the adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth beside it may drift into the empty space. When it’s time for the adult teeth to come in, there may not be enough room. This can make the teeth crooked or crowded. Starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.
The good news is that tooth decay is almost completely preventable. You can help prevent tooth decay for your child by following the tips below:
- Lower the risk of the baby’s infection with decay-causing bacteria. This can be done two ways – by improving the oral health of the mother/caregiver which reduces the number of bacteria in her mouth and by not sharing saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers and giving them to babies.
- After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. This will remove plaque and bits of food that can harm erupting teeth. When your child’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water. (Consult with your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age two.)
- Begin brushing the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste (usually not before age two). The American Dental Association recommends fluoride toothpaste; ask your dentist about your child’s fluoride needs.
- Brush your child’s teeth until he or she is at least six years old.
- Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
- Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean — don’t dip it in sugar or honey, or put it in your mouth before giving it to the child.
- Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday and discourage frequent or prolonged use of a training (sippy) cup.
- Encourage healthy eating habits that include a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Serve nutritious snacks and limit sweets to mealtimes.
- Ensure that your child has adequate exposure to fluoride. Discuss your child’s fluoride needs with your dentist or pediatrician.
Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush involves these things:
- The proper tools
- A soft toothbrush: A soft brush is kinder to your teeth and gums, and also makes it much easier to remove the plaque below the gum line, where periodontal disease starts.
- Toothpaste with fluoride: Use a pea- sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of the teeth. It might stop a cavity in its tracks and will give you more resistance to future cavities.
- The right technique
- The correct angle of brushing: Angle the bristles of the brush along the gum line at a 45- degree angle and apply gentle pressure so the bristles slide under the gum line. Vibrate the brush while you move it in short back- and – forth strokes and in small circular motions. Brush two or teeth at a time, and then move to the next teeth, allowing some overlap. To brush the backs of the front teeth, tilt the brush and use the tip of the brush.
- Brushing in a pattern: It’s fine to brush in any regular pattern you choose, but since the inside of the teeth tend to get less attention, you might start with the insides of the upper teeth, then go to the inside of the lower teeth. Next, switch to the outsides of the upper teeth, and then the outsides of the lower teeth. Brush the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth, then the lower teeth, and end by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This removes bacteria and keeps your breath fresh.
- Good timing
- Brushing after breakfast and before bed: The timing of your brushing is important, too. Brushing after breakfast cleans away the morning’s food debris, and prevent the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth from leaving behind the destructive acid they produce when they digest that food. And brushing your teeth before bedtime protects your teeth all night.
- Using these brushing techniques, your teeth and gums will stay fresh and healthy.
- Proper Flossing
- Most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your toothbrush simply don’t remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth. That’s why we recommend that you floss every day.
- People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner. These aids include special brushes, picks or sticks. If you use interdental cleaners, ask your dentist about how to use them properly, to avoid injuring your gums.