Dental Advice for Patients: You're More in Control than You Think

Have you ever found yourself sitting in your dentist’s office, utterly clueless about the procedures your dentist is suggesting? Well, you are not alone! Dental procedures can be difficult and complex for a layman. However, it’s always a good idea to have basic dental information about tooth decay. It can help you make the best decisions for yourself when it comes to dealing with this common dental issue.  

Scroll down to read all you need to know about dealing with tooth decay in order to have an engaging conversation with your dentists about your treatment options.

Dealing with Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the most common dental issue experienced by thousands of people around the world. However, it is important to understand that not all tooth decay is treated the same way. While a bad case may require invasive drilling, in the early stages it can be dealt with using a number of minimally invasive techniques.

Let’s have a look at some ways to deal with tooth decay in the early stages.

1.    Fluoride Varnish

Fluoride is a mineral found in tooth enamel. It helps make your teeth strong and healthy. This makes fluoride varnish a healthy option for your teeth. The process of fluoride varnishing involves coating your teeth with a thin layer of liquid which quickly hardens and allows fluoride to get absorbed in your teeth.

Fluoride varnish is a quick fix for tooth decay and works best for patients who have difficulty sitting through long and elaborate dental procedures. Keep in mind the varnish can make your teeth a little yellow. While the yellow tint on your teeth lasts for less than a day, the protection offered by fluoride varnish can last for months!    

2.    Fluoride Gel

Fluoride gel is another form of topical fluoride treatment. Just like the name suggests, when the gel is applied to your teeth, it helps them absorb fluoride. Depending on your dental health, fluoride gel can be applied every 3 to 6 months.

The procedure involves placing a tray filled with gel in your mouth, against your teeth. You will have to hold the tray in your mouth for a few minutes before removing it. Your dentist may use the suction pump to keep you from swallowing the gel. Keep in mind fluoride gel has an acidic taste and ingesting it can upset your stomach.

3.    Sealants

Sealants are a good way of stopping tooth decay at an early stage. Using sealants involves coating the chewing surface of your back teeth with a thin, clear liquid. It hardens quickly, covering the deep food and plaque trapping pits of the teeth.

Once the sealant hardens on your teeth, it keeps the food particles from entering the pits and sticking there. Sealants offer a quick and easy way of protecting your teeth against tooth decay. They can be used alone or mixed with another procedure, like fluoride varnish, for best results.

Keep smiling bright! And as always, if you have any questions we are here for you.