Effective Cavity Prevention
Dental sealants is effective means of preventing cavities and is strongly recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the United States Public Health Service. Sealants are simply a thin, plastic, resin coating applied to the chewing surface of back teeth to protect the pits and grooves from bacteria and stuck food particles that will eventually cause tooth decay.
It is expected that you will benefit from years of good service provided you observe the following cautions and general guidelines.
- Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations as they may crack. Also, if you discover you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please inform us as we will arrange for a custom occlusal guard (i.e., Nightguard) to be fabricated. If you feel your bite does not adjust on its own in the next week, please call for an adjustment appointment.
- Brushing and Flossing: Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime. Brush with an ultra-soft toothbrush at least two times a day. Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Use an electric toothbrush (such as SoniCare or Oral B).
- Rinsing: Use a fluoride rinse or non-alcoholic mouthwash. Swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily. Sodium fluoride is the only home fluoride that should be used. Certain mouthwash from brands such as Crest Pro-Health or Biotene do not contain alcohol. Alcohol softens bonding and weakens the bond of porcelain.
- Habits: Habits such as opening packages with your teeth, biting thread, chewing ice, nail biting or pipe smoking should be avoided. Avoid direct biting into ribs, bones, hard candy, nuts, or hard bread and rolls, as this puts stress on the material and could result in a fracture. Be aware that certain foods such as spare ribs, corn on the cob, carrots and apples can also put added stress on bonded teeth and possibly increase the need for repairs. Most kinds of sandwiches are not a problem.
- Recalls: It is recommended to repair or replace lost or partially broken sealants to maintain effectiveness over the years. We will check all sealants at your regular cleaning and exam appointment. They are guaranteed for one year after placement as long as you keep your regular re-care appointments. Dental sealants are meant to be part of a complete program of dental health together with dental checkups, fluoride, brushing, flossing and a good diet.
Please contact your trusted Saratoga dentist, Dr. Prasad if you are concerned about any related symptoms.