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Are sealants really needed for my kids?

Researchers have shown that dental sealants are highly effective in preventing dental caries (cavities).  They have been shown to reduce pit and fissure (grooves) cavities by 60% from 2-5 years after placement.  (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2002)

Where do most cavities occur?

Roughly 90% of carious lesion (cavities) are found in the pits and fissures (grooves) of permanent back teeth, especially molars. (Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Mar 2003).

How do I get decay (cavities)?

Bacteria alter the oral environment when you eat by breaking down your food into simple sugars, which they use to produce an acid.  This leads to demineralization (loss of minerals) form your outer protective enamel surface.  (Journal of the American Dental Association, Sept 2008)

How does Fluoride protect my teeth?

Fluoride permeates into your enamel and reacts with it to create a less soluble (less able to be dissolved) substance that can better resist the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth.  

What are 2 primary forms of getting Fluoride?

Tap water (most cities fluoridate their water) and toothpaste are the two primary sources one gets fluoride externally.  Internally, your saliva continues to provide fluoride assuming you have enough in your body.  

Why is sipping a drink or eating little snacks all day bad for my teeth?

After you eat, the bacteria produce an acid, which alters your oral environment making it more prone to dissolving of your teeth.  After about 20 minutes, your saliva restores the oral environment to a safe setting. However, if exposure to acid is prolonged, by continuously sipping drinks (including diet drinks) or eating snacks, the saliva is not able to reverse the acidic environment.   This can lead to extended demineralization (loss of minerals) from your teeth and decay (cavities).

What type of tooth brush should I use?

Any type of toothbrush is good for cleaning your teeth.  Some, however, have additionally benefits that can better effectively help clean your teeth.  It has been shown that powered brushing can project fluid and bubbles in a turbulent jet beyond the bristles to remove plaque.  Additionally, sonic brushing increases the fluoride delivery to these remote areas.  (Oral Health Preventive Dentistry. Feb 2004)

Does bottled water have fluoride in it?

Yes.  Most bottled water has fluoride in it, however, the majority of bottled waters do not contain the ideal range of fluoride (0.7-1.2 ppm) for the prevention of dental caries (cavities).  As a result, people who substitute bottled water for tap water may not receive enough of the anti-caries benefits from fluoridate tap water.  (Journal of the Academy of Genral Dentistry, Jan/Feb 2009)