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Fluoride treatments and fissure sealants

2 months ago

There are two recommended methods to protect your teeth from decay: fluoride treatments and fissure sealants. Fluoride is an organic compound that contains the element fluorine. It is a naturally-occurring mineral found in the earth’s crust and distributed all throughout the soil, water, other types of minerals, and even in small amounts in the foods we eat like fish, eggs, and meat. Fluoride is also synthesised in laboratories and added to drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and various chemical products in safe and legal amounts. It is best known as being the most effective substance that helps with preventing tooth decay and most oral health problems. Dental healthcare professionals recommend that the best way to prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems is to consume several healthy sources of fluoride. If consumed in the right amounts, fluoride works by strengthening remineralisation and stopping bacteria from creating acids.

Fluoride treatment is highly beneficial when administered properly. However, it can be dangerous when taken in high doses. Prior to fluoride treatment, patients need to make sure their teeth are as clean as possible. A dental healthcare professional can remove any remaining stains. Patients who have undergone fluoride treatment If you use fluoride treatments at home, it’s recommended to do so shortly before going to bed, a time when it’s less likely to be rinsed or washed out. Fluoride supplements are usually applied in the form of a gel, paste, foam, or varnish after the teeth have dried. This is to prevent fluoride from becoming diluted and its potency weakened. Some fluoride supplements also come in a tray that looks like a mouth guard which you apply for one to four minutes, while others are painted directly onto teeth. After fluoride treatment, you should not drink or eat anything for at least thirty minutes. Food and liquids can disrupt the effect of the fluoride on the teeth.

Fissure sealants are very common amongst children, it helps protect them against dental decay on their new permanent teeth.          

It is a plastic coating applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant effectively acts as a shield or protective coating that stops food and bacteria from getting in between the grooves of the teeth, eventually causing decay. Fissure sealants are quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes to apply for each tooth. First, the tooth is cleaned, soaked with a special solution, and dried. Once the tooth is dry, liquid sealant is poured onto the tooth and set with a blue light. It is a guaranteed painless procedure, and the patient wouldn’t feel any different afterwards. Sealants usually last for many years. Nevertheless, it’s still important to have your dentist check on the condition of your fissure sealants during your regular dental appointments. This is to ensure that the fissure sealants are still intact.

Dr Neil Paryani

BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)

Dr Poonam Paryani

BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)

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