2 Roseberry Shopping Centre
Redcar, Cleveland
TS10 4NY
Phone (01642) 490 673
Fax     (01642) 756 148

Fissure Sealants

The biting surfaces of back teeth have many crevices and grooves running across them . These are called fissures. Food and bacteria can become trapped in these and eventually cause decay. To reduce the risk of decay the fissures can be sealed using a special plastic. First the teeth are prepared to receive the sealant. This is then painted onto the tooth a blue light is shone onto it in order to set it hard.

Prevention is a team approach between dentist and patient. The aim is to stop tooth decay and gum disease from starting in the first place. In this way actual active treatment is reduced to a minimum. Despite all of the recent advances in dentistry, there is still no substitute for natural tooth enamel and dentine. It is never too late for preventive dentistry. In fact, good diet and tooth brushing is even more important in a mouth that has many fillings and other restorations.

The main cause of tooth decay is sugar, so reducing sugar intake is very important. Most important is how often the sugar is eaten (the frequency). As a general rule it is best to limit the frequency to no more than three times per day, for example just have something sweet after meal times. Sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits and non diet fizzy drinks contain lots of sugar. Some foods such as baked beans and other tinned foods also contain “hidden sugar”. Foods such as crisps, cheese and sugar free sweets contain no sugar and so do not harm teeth. Diet drinks are sugar free and so are better for teeth than ordinary fizzy drinks and squashes.

Tooth brushing (Why brush ?)
We brush our teeth to remove plaque from them. Plaque is a layer of bacteria which builds up on our teeth during the day. These bacteria turn some of the sugar in our food into acid. This acid dissolves away teeth causing tooth decay.
Plaque bacteria also cause gum disease which is the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults. So it is very important to brush our teeth regularly. It is also important to scrub the area where the gum and tooth meet. We are particularly keen to instruct children in the correct technique. Also we have found that most adults miss at least some areas of their mouths. When you come along for a check up, your dentist can point out any missed areas. It is never too late to learn!!!

Fluoride strengthens teeth and makes them more resistant to decay. Fluoride can be used in two main ways:

1. Topical
This is fluoride applied to the surface of teeth to protect the outer layer. The most common way this is applied is through the use of a toothpaste containing fluoride, although fluoride mouth rinses and varnishes (applied by the dentist) are available. For most of us the use of a good quality toothpaste is all that is required.

2. Systemic
If fluoride tablets are swallowed at a young age (up to 8 years), at the right dose it will build the teeth to strengthen them all the way through and not just at the surface. Ask your dentist for advice regarding the best fluoride regime for you or your child.


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