DENTAL CLEANING (Prophylaxis)
Prophylaxis or "prophy" for short is what most people refer to as getting their "teeth cleaned". A prophy is the removal of plaque, tartar, and stain from the teeth at or above the gumline. This is done by scaling and polishing. This treatment is generally performed on children, teenagers, and adults with healthy gum tissue and no signs or symptoms of periodontal disease. It is an important preventative treatment for control of bacteria that can have negative effects on your oral and overall health. A general guideline for the frequency of a prophy is at least every 6 months. Our hygienists will recommend an appropriate interval for you based on your individual treatment needs.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in the earth's soil and water. It's dental benefits were discovered in naturally fluoridated water in Colorado in the 1920's. Our office offers a fluoride varnish treatment to all of our patients. Fluoride varnish is a topical application that is painted onto the surface of the teeth.
BENEFITS OF FLUORIDE:
Children get the best benefit of fluoride while their teeth are still developing. Fluoride helps to mineralize the enamel, resulting in stronger teeth that are more resistant to decay. Adults also get benefits from fluoride. Fluoride is effective in remineralizing (strengthening) areas of enamel that have been demineralized (weakened) by acids found in the bacteria of plaque and tartar. Adults that suffer from hot/cold sensitivity as a result of receeding gums can get relief with fluoride treatments. Fluoride can also help to prevent decay on exposed root surfaces.
Although many people do have fluoridated water, they will still benefit greatly from the topical application of fluoride.
A sealant is a resin-based material (plastic-like film) applied to the chewing surface of a tooth to seal pits and grooves where food and bacteria can be trapped. Sealants are used to reduce the occurrence of dental cavities in children and adults.
SOME INDICATIONS FOR SEALANTS ARE:
• Newly erupted teeth
• Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surface
• History of dental cavities
• Xerostomia (dry mouth)
• Orthodontics (braces)