Fluoride and fissure sealants and treatments

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First, a look at fluoride, what is it and why is it good for healthy teeth?

Children’s dental care in Brisbane – but this can also apply to adults too!

Fluoride is a safe mineral compound found naturally in water, the air we breathe and many different kinds of foods. It is one of the most beneficial elements for children’s developing teeth and maintaining the health of adult teeth.

Many states and territories add fluoride to the water supply, as drinking fluoridated water and brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps protect teeth against decay.

Fluoride is very important for teeth as it can be absorbed into bones and tooth enamel, making them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. In a process referred to as remineralisation, fluoride is used to help repair damage caused by dental decay.

Although fluoride is highly beneficial, in excess quantities, fluoride may cause defects in tooth enamel and permanent stains on teeth. If you use fluoride toothpaste and drink fluoridated water, then you should consult with Whitehouse Dental before you or your child take fluoride supplements.

Tooth fissure sealants

Children’s teeth in their early development are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. To combat this, the team at Whitehouse Dental can apply a pit and fissure sealant.

This is a completely pain-free procedure that takes around five minutes per tooth, the sealant is a pink or tooth-coloured liquid similar in consistency to nail polish, which flows into the grooves of the back teeth, setting hard after only a couple of minutes.

This makes the tooth smooth, easier to clean and creates a protective barrier against plaque and bacteria build-up. The sealant also contains fluoride for added tooth protection.

The teeth are cleaned thoroughly with a mild solution or gel no stronger than vinegar or a citric acid such as lemon juice, which makes the surface of the tooth slightly rough ensuring a strong bond is achieved. After a few seconds, the solution is rinsed away with water and the tooth is dried.

The ideal time to apply tooth sealant is immediately following the emergence of the first permanent molars, around age six and then after the permanent adult premolars come through, between the ages of eleven and fourteen. However, there may be occasions when primary (baby) premolars require sealants, especially if there is a likelihood of them developing tooth decay.

Although mainly used on children’s teeth, many adults also choose to have fissure sealant treatment to aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Sealants cannot be applied to teeth with detectable decay, therefore following a thorough assessment appointment; the Whitehouse Dental team will advise if dental sealants are suitable for you.

The expert dental advice and care at Whitehouse Dental in North Brisbane is available for children and family dental care, feel free to contact us to help ensure you and your family maintain the best dental hygiene to maintain healthy teeth.